New research indicates massage therapy helped sleep quality among women who suffered from insomnia postpartum.

Sixty postpartum women reporting poor quality of sleep were recruited and assigned randomly to either an intervention or a control group, according to an abstract published on

Participants in both groups received the same care except the intervention group received back massage therapy in the form of a single 20 minutes on the back each day for five consecutive days, by a massage therapist.

The outcome measure was the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, which was administered pre- and post-test. The investigators found that “an intervention involving back massage in the postnatal period significantly improved the quality of sleep” in the subjects

The research was conducted by investigators with the Department of Nursing, College of Medicine, Catholic Fu-Jen University, Taiwan. It was published in the journal Midwifery, published by Elsevier.