why do I fall asleep during foot massages?
Better Sleep

Why Do I Fall Asleep When I Get A Foot Massage?

(Last Updated On: November 18, 2022)

Being massaged anywhere on the body promotes a sense of relaxation and sleepiness, especially on the feet. Pressure points in the feet are connected to the rest of the body, so touching these parts of the anatomy makes us doze off almost instantly.

A traditional foot massage to aid sleep involves placing pressure on the sole of the foot. You can also visit a specialist and experience a shiatsu massage, reflexology, or acupressure, which are popular components of traditional eastern medicine.

Foot massage is commonly regarded as a way to relax and balance the muscles in the body, manage emotions – including grief and stress – and promote superior blood circulation.

Don’t feel embarrassed if you fall asleep while receiving a foot massage. If this treatment is applied correctly, it will be increasingly difficult to remain awake. The purpose of a foot massage is to give in to the sense of relaxation it offers, and dozing off is a common effect.

Why Do I Fall Asleep During Foot Massages?

Massage is considered a relaxing experience, and foot massages are no exception. It’s common to doze off while enjoying a foot massage, whether administered by a professional or skilled amateur.

It could be claimed that a foot massage is the most relaxing interaction of all. Our feet are constantly working for us, supporting our weight whenever we stand, walk, or run. Perhaps more than any other body part, our feet require occasional pampering.

Some of the reasons why foot massages make you sleepy include the following:

  • As per Frontiers in Psychiatry, any human touch encourages relaxation and reduces stress. A foot massage is beneficial because the feet could be considered an intimate part of the anatomy.
  • Foot massage clears the mind and balances emotions. The Journal of Clinical Nursing explains how foot massage was found to aid grief in bereaved individuals.
  • Massaging the feet encourages increased blood circulation, which promotes the repair and performance of cells and internal organs. This can reduce pain and ready us for sleep.

Don’t feel self-conscious if you start to fight your eyelids while receiving a foot massage.

Is it Good to Have a Foot Massage Before Bed?

If you struggle with insomnia for any reason, a foot massage will likely help you relax and significantly improve your chances of a restful night of sleep.

Just be aware that you’ll likely fall into a deep slumber, as your body will be completely relaxed. A foot massage isn’t recommended if you’re only seeking a brief power nap or feel that you may need to awaken quickly and react to unexpected events during the night.

What are the Different Types of Foot Massage?

A traditional foot massage involves placing pressure on the sole, heels, and toes. By following these steps, anybody can offer a foot massage that makes somebody sleepy:

  1. Apply a small amount of oil to the hands and rub them together to warm the palms.
  2. Prepare the foot for massage by twisting one side of the foot backward and the other forward.
  3. Holding the top of the foot with one hand, use the other to rub the foot’s arch.
  4. Gently bend all five toes back and forth simultaneously.
  5. Spread the sole of the foot to its full width.
  6. Squeeze the heel to release pressure and tension.
  7. Make a fist and push this into the sole of the foot, or apply pressure using your thumbs.
  8. Lightly tug and twist each toe to relieve any cramps.
  9. Return to the sole, lightly pulling the skin to the left and right.

Follow these steps, and the recipient of the foot massage will enter a state of deep relaxation and likely fall asleep.

If you approach a professional massage therapist for a foot treatment, you’ll likely be offered one of three types of foot massage or a combination of this trinity.

why foot massages makes you sleepy


Shiatsu massage originated in Japan and differs from most forms of massage as it is conducted while fully clothed. Shiatsu massage can be focused on the feet, where particular pressure points are located to maximize efficiency.

Shiatsu massage can be conducted by machinery. Most foot massage devices you can purchase and use at home adopt the principles of shiatsu massage. The feet are placed on an appliance, and heat is directed to specific parts of the sole.

Anybody struggling with insomnia could consider investing in a shiatsu foot massager. While this approach lacks the all-important human touch, such gadgets are still widely regarded as relaxing and beneficial for people with foot pain.


Reflexology revolves around believing that every nerve and organ in the human body can be accessed and influenced through the feet. A reflexologist will know almost 30 pressure points in the foot, focusing their attention on those most in need.

Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine discusses how 53 patients underwent kidney transplantation surgery and found that reflexology greatly improved their ability to sleep afterward despite the pain and side effects of the operation.

A skilled reflexologist will locate a point on the base of the foot believed to be directly linked to insomnia. Reflexology is also a popular treatment for relaxation and anxiety, which will aid sleep.


In Chinese medicine, acupressure is used to unblock positive energy (referred to as “chi”) around the body, releasing endorphins and relieving pain. Acupressure also influences the nervous system, improving digestion, heart health, and respiration.

While acupuncture is considered an alternative treatment in the west, the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine explains how many athletes extol the virtues of acupressure for pain relief. Pressure points will be identified and massaged for 30 seconds at a time.

While anybody can theoretically perform acupressure, it’s considered a unique skill requiring training. A professional acupressurist will discuss symptoms with you, such as insomnia, and identify the parts of the foot that would benefit from massage.

Where are the Pressure Points for Sleep on Feet?

According to the art of acupressure, three prime pressure points on and around the human foot can aid insomnia and encourage deep and restful sleep.

Great Surge

The great surge pressure point is found just above the big toe, where this digit meets the second toe. If you feel a slight dip between the bones in these toes, you have found the great surge.

Be gentle when applying pressure to the great surge, as this is among the more tender pressure points on the foot. If you can master this, the recipient of the food massage should enjoy a sense of tremendous physical and mental well-being.

Massaging the great surge is believed to reduce stress and detoxify the body, flooding it with positive endorphins. This should encourage a feeling of contentment that promotes effortless sleep.

Great Ravine

The great ravine is found just above the heel, on the inside of the foot. The great ravine isn’t believed to directly influence sleep when pressured alone, but it can make you sleepy when touched alongside other pressure points on the foot.

According to the International Journal of Nursing Sciences, this pressure point is most effective when attempting to combat hypertension, especially in older people. As hypertension is linked to insomnia, this may aid with falling – and staying – asleep at night.

Bubbling Spring

The bubbling spring is arguably the most impactful part of the foot to massage when looking to induce sleep. If you curl your toes, you’ll notice a small dent just above the middle of the sole of your foot. This is the bubbling spring.

Apply firm pressure to this depression using the thumb, a knuckle, or an external tool. Make circular movements, or roll up and down. This is believed to balance all energy in the body, promoting a sense of general relaxation and sleepiness.

Is it Rude to Fall Asleep During a Foot Massage?

Any professional masseur, whether focusing on your feet or your upper body, won’t take offense if you fall asleep during a treatment.

Falling asleep during a foot massage or therapy will be considered a compliment. It suggests that the person administering the treatment has earned your trust and is performing their job to a high standard.

You may be a little embarrassed by the idea of falling asleep during a foot massage, especially if you start to snore. To a skilled foot masseur, snoring will be a familiar soundtrack to their working day.

If you carry stress, a foot massage or reflexology treatment can be a great way to restore balance and harmony. While such an approach won’t necessarily unwind knots in your back or shoulders, you are likelier to feel much calmer after the massage.