Massage chairs are incredibly relaxing, which is why people often fall asleep several minutes into their massage – from a short nap to a whole night’s slumber. This brings up the question: is it safe to sleep in a massage chair? And if yes, how long can you sleep in one without hurting your posture or causing body aches?
In this blog, OSIM answers those questions and how you can use your massage chair to improve your sleep.
Why you should sleep in a massage chair
Better sleep quality is one of the many benefits of a massage chair. Massage therapy alleviates the tension in your muscles and joints, which induces deep relaxation. Plus, massages stimulate serotonin, the hormone responsible for stabilising your mood. When you’re calm, your breathing slows and your muscles relax, signalling to your brain that it’s time to sleep.
Other than the general sleep benefits of massage, napping in a massage chair is also safe and advantageous for people with certain underlying conditions. Some medical conditions make it painful and uncomfortable to lie down in a horizontal position.
For instance, if you have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), it’s best to keep your head slightly raised in your sleep. This resists your acid flow, reducing the chances of a reflux during the night. It also helps to raise your legs, but not higher than your head.
It’s difficult to achieve this sleeping position on a bed, so people with GERD will find it incredibly helpful to sleep in a massage chair. Besides GERD, sleep apnoea, chronic snoring and chronic back pain are some other conditions that require you to sleep in a slightly reclined position.
Why you should NOT sleep in a massage chair
Despite the sleep benefits of a massage chair, it can be uncomfortable to sleep in one for prolonged periods. For one, massage chairs have calf and foot ports, which can greatly affect your comfort. They make it impossible for you to shift your body in your sleep. Plus, the calf ports have little wiggle room, so your legs really can’t move anywhere.
One solution to this problem is to opt for a massage chair with a rotating ottoman. The rotating ottoman has a flat surface on its underside, so you can use that side for sleeping. You can also choose a massage chair that comes with a cover for the leg ports, which you can use when you want to sleep in the chair.
The massage rollers on the chair can also make sleeping uncomfortable. The rollers are protruding, digging into your back when the chair is off. You can avoid this if your chair has retractable rollers. However, your body will sink into the space occupied by the rollers, which can hurt your lower back. To avoid lower back pain, place a pillow on your lumbar area if you’re planning to sleep in your chair.
How to use your massage chair to improve your sleep
We don’t recommend sleeping for a whole night on your massage chair. Aside from the discomfort, staying in the same position all night can cause body aches. Plus, you’ll need to lie back flat on the seat the entire night, since that’s how the chair is designed. Sleeping on your side while on the chair can hurt your spine.
Of course, you can still use your massage chair to improve your sleep quality. Follow these tips:
- Take a short nap in your massage chair. You can leave it on or off, depending on your mood. However, make sure to keep your nap short (from 10 to 20 minutes), especially in the afternoon. Having a long nap in the middle of the day can make it difficult for you to fall asleep at night.
- Include a short massage session in your bedtime routine. Spend 10 to 15 minutes on your massage chair then go to bed immediately after the session. This way, your body and mind are still relaxed, helping you fall asleep quickly. You’ll wake up the next day feeling well-rested.
- If you have one of the medical conditions mentioned earlier, use pillows to raise your head and legs when sleeping on the bed.
Make sure that you’re getting a high-quality massage chair to get good, quality sleep. It doesn’t have to have premium features, but the cushioning and upholstery should be comfortable. You also want a massage chair with multiple recline angles, and ideally a Zero Gravity option.
Get Advice from Relaxation Experts
If you need help with choosing the best massage chair for your sleeping needs, OSIM is here to assist you. We’ll help you find a massage chair or massager that suits your lifestyle but is still within your budget.
Browse our selection of massage chairs and portable massagers today. For enquiries, fill out our online form and we’ll get back to you promptly.