It is a sweet observation to watch clients fall asleep on the massage table. The first sign is often the twitching of fingers and later, sometimes the head, extremities, or even a whole body jerk will happen (often from the hips).
The clients who fall asleep very quickly after the massage session begins are often sleep deprived. I would like to take credit for delivering such wonderful touch, but most likely it’s their body serving a priority – they need sleep. Breathing gets deeper, and snoring may present itself. People may wake themselves with their own sound, only to fall back into a deep relaxation or sleep.
Other times I witness them stop breathing. It’s unsettling, but I know they will wake when oxygen is needed, then breathing is regained. This phenomena may be a sign of sleep apnea, a serious condition where the person stops breathing during sleep.
According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, people who have untreated sleep apnea “may stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep, sometimes hundreds of times during the night and often for a minute or longer.”
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute reports that untreated sleep apnea can:
- Increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, obesity, and diabetes
- Increase the risk of, or worsen, heart failure
- Make arrhythmias, or irregular heartbeats, more likely
- Increase the chance of having work-related or driving accidents
Visit their website here.
If you or your loved one is showing signs of sleep apnea, seek medical attention. Studies show lack of sleep cuts years off your life and, as listed above, has serious side effects.