Massage and Sleep: What’s the Link?

Last Updated on April 16, 2024

by Marc Werner, Founder - GhostBed

Ever wondered why you drift off during massages? There are science-backed reasons why getting a rub-down can help you catch some Z’s. Inspired by the release of our new massage mattress, we consulted the experts to explore massage for sleep.

Man receives a massage on a massage table underneath a gray blanket.

Why Do Massages Make You Tired?

Let’s start with the obvious: massages make you tired because they help you relax! Studies show that massages can make you feel more connected and less stressed by boosting the “feel-good” hormone called oxytocin and simultaneously lowering a stress hormone called ACTH.

A good massage can also stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system–the system in your body that’s responsible for your “rest and digest” response. As a result, you feel at ease and ready to nod off.

Finally, we all know and love massage for its ability to release tension from our muscles. This too can shift your body from an alert state to a more restful one, making falling asleep during massage common.

Can Massage Help You Sleep Better?

Not only can massage help you fall asleep, but it can also contribute to better-quality shut-eye. Research confirms that massage can reduce pain, making it easier for those with discomfort to stay asleep through the night.

Massage may also enhance blood flow, which helps to regulate body temperature, support tissue repair and growth and reduce instances of sleep apnea–all essential for quality sleep.

Plus, massage can reduce anxiety and depression, which are two disorders that can make sleeping through the night a challenge.

Does Massage Release Melatonin?

Like many of the other health perks you get from a massage, melatonin–the hormone that helps you sleep–isn’t a direct result of getting a rubdown. Instead, it’s a result of the way massage helps you relax.

By helping you calm down, massage can indirectly stimulate your pineal gland, which is where melatonin comes from. This is another reason you may sleep better after you get a massage.

Woman getting a shoulder massage.

What Type of Massage is Best for Sleep?

A massage is a personal experience; what feels good for your body may not feel good for someone else. So the best type of massage for sleep is the one that helps you relax and drift off.

It’s also important to differentiate between a massage that will ultimately benefit your sleep vs a massage that will help you fall asleep as it’s happening.

For instance, a deep tissue massage releases tension from your muscles, which may contribute to better sleep overall. But you’re less likely to fall asleep during the massage because–frankly–it’s a little painful!

By contrast, a more gentle massage, like a Swedish massage, may be just the right intensity to help you relax into sleep as it’s happening.

At-Home Massage for Better Sleep

Massage is considered a “maintenance therapy,” which means to reap its benefits, you have to keep getting it. Some folks are happy with the results they get from monthly, bi-monthly or even weekly professional massages. But for most of us, a spa trip that frequent isn’t feasible.

Still, we know the more often you get a massage, the more likely you are to reduce stress, manage pain and yes–improve sleep. That’s why here at GhostBed, we’ve pioneered a world-exclusive massage mattress.

Designed to give you a thorough massage right in bed, the GhostBed Massage is the perfect (and most cost-effective) tool for reaping the benefits of daily, full-body massage.

We used whisper-quiet air cell technology for this mattress. That means you get a massage that releases tension without being so intense that it keeps you up. (After all, our number one priority around here is sleep!)

And because everyone’s preferences are different, we’ve created the GhostBed Massage so you and your partner have control of your own massage experience. With eight preset programs to choose from, you’ll find the perfect setting for you.

If you’d like to learn more about the GhostBed Massage, you can speak with a Sleep Expert. Or you can read more about the innovative massage mattress.

GhostBed Massage Mattress.

GhostBed Massage Mattress

The first ever massaging mattress with patent-pending air cell technology–not vibration!


Marc Werner - Founder, GhostBed

Marc Werner

Founder - GhostBed

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Marc has spent the last two decades designing & manufacturing mattresses and other sleep products, drawing on a lifetime of experience working with the material sciences. With several patents to his name, he works closely with the GhostBed team to create products with the perfect balance of comfort & support. Learn More

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