Quick, what are the most relaxing things you can think of? Chances are, your list includes both lying in bed and getting a massage. But what if you could combine those two things? The level of relaxation just went totally off the charts. No, we’re not talking about a live-in masseuse (though that would be kind of great). We’re talking about one of the great wonders of the modern age: the massaging bed base.

When you think about it, massage and sleep go together like peanut butter and jelly. There’s no question that quality sleep is essential to health and wellness. There’s also no question that being stressed out before sleep can decrease quality of sleep, or make it difficult to fall asleep at all. And what does massage do? It chills you out and makes those stresses melt away. You know that eyes-half-closed, blissfully drowsy, completely relaxed feeling you get when you’re getting a professional massage? That’s not a fluke—that’s the massage taking effect by bringing you to a state of physical relaxation that spills over into your mental state.

And it’s not just anecdotal. Research indicates that massage can improve sleep for healthy people of all ages as well as those suffering from insomnia, back pain, migraines, and cancer, among other conditions.

Relieving stress before bedtime

Massage improves sleep in many ways, but one of the major benefits of pre-sleep massage is that it relaxes muscles that have become stressed during the day (just like your mind). Many of us unconsciously clench various muscles, usually the back and shoulders, as a manifestation of tension that accumulates throughout the day. Being in such a tense and rigid state can cause pain and make it difficult to relax enough to fall asleep; alleviating this tension through massage allows sleep to occur more easily.

Unfortunately, the stresses of life that cause both physical and mental tension are there every day, and most of us don’t have the time or resources to splurge on a professional massage with the same frequency. Plus, heading to a spa for a massage requires climbing into the car and driving home afterward, potentially in a cramped car or dealing with stressful traffic, meaning that by the time you arrive in your bed, you’ve lost any modicum of relaxation you had when you left your massage.

Massaging bed bases. Luxurious, yet practical, too.

As sleep technology continues to advance, adjustable beds with a massage feature have become increasingly common. Early massage features were a bit rudimentary, providing only a gentle vibration that didn’t do much for knots and tense muscles, but newer technologies have drastically improved this feature.

So what should you look for if you’re in the market for a massaging base? The first thing to be aware of—which may seem counterintuitive—is that a more intense massage does not mean a higher quality massage. In fact, it may indicate the opposite. The intense pressure you feel in some massage beds is actually the result of simply cranking up the speed and output of the motor. This causes the bed to vibrate indiscriminately, creating a less-than-ideal massage experience—and a lot of noise.

What distinguishes a better massage bed?

More advanced massage technologies use the concept of resonant frequency to provide targeted movement on the surface of the mattress. In these adjustable massage bed bases, the natural sound frequency of the mattress itself is manipulated, causing it to vibrate at various intensities. The result is a natural, soothing, and very quiet movement. All Reverie adjustable bed foundations with the massage feature use this technology, called 3D-Wave™ massage, which was proven in a university study to help you wake up feeling more alert.

Another thing to keep in mind is ease of use. If you’re fiddling with switches and cords every time you want a massage, it won’t be very relaxing, so it’s important to find a massage feature that is easy and seamless to use. In the case of Reverie’s massaging bed bases, we’ve facilitated this with an easy-to-use backlit remote and also a smartphone app that can be used to control your bed. You can switch between 10 different intensity levels and choose head-only, foot-only, or full-body. It also allows for individual control of each side of the bed, so partners can customize to their own preference.

Massage meets the mobile age.

Our new Nightstand app—available on iPhone 5 and above—ups the game even further, with some clever and useful new features. Besides controlling the basic intensity, speed, and location of your massage, the app also allows you to save certain Comfort Settings (specific bed positions and massage settings), so you can return to them with one click.

Additionally, you can program Routines. Routines are essentially multiple Comfort Settings programmed into one setting, and you can have them start at a specific time if you want. For example, you could program the bed to start your favorite massage automatically at 11 PM and continue for 20 minutes, then move to Zero Gravity position and a low-intensity massage for another 10 minutes, then end the massage and move into Anti-Snore position as you drift deeper into a serene slumber for the night. All without having to lift a finger.

And when it comes to the next morning, you can program your bed to wake you up with a massage at a certain time. A massage alarm—is there a better way to start the day than that?