Insomnia is a common sleep complaint. It may involve difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. It might also cause you to wake up too early.
- Up to 35% of people experience insomnia on some level:
- 30 to 35% experience brief insomnia symptoms
- 15 to 20% have a short-term insomnia disorder (lasting up to three months)
- 10% experience a chronic insomnia disorder (symptoms occur at least three times per week for at least three months)
Acupressure is an alternative medicine technique with a long history that may help people with difficulty sleeping.
How Does It Work To Cure Insomnia?
The aims of acupressure are to allow for better energy flow (qi) around the body and to regulate and balance the opposing forces of positive (yang) and negative (yin) energy. It contests that a large amount of both bodily and spiritual ailments are a result of issues with energy flow and balance.
Tips to get Maximum Benefits
But first, consider these expert-backed tips to help you get the most out of each pressure point for sleep:
- Find the most sensitive spot near the location of the pressure point; this can feel like a “small muscle knot” or “a depression your singer sinks into and can sometimes feel a little sore , according to Ingegno.
- Apply moderate pressure, holding your finger still or moving it in a circular motion.
- If the pressure point is on both sides of the body, do one side then switch?
- Apply pressure for at least 30 seconds in each spot. Longer isn’t necessarily better but allow the point to open up. It may feel like the knot relaxes a little or the soreness at the spot goes away.
- Take deep breaths while pressing each point.
- Try creating a “sleep circuit” by picking a few points and going over each three times.
Acupressure Points for Better Sleep
Also known as Peaceful Dreams, this aptly named point is used to induce quality sleep and is thought to be very effective for insomnia, according to practitioners.
The easiest way to find this point is to make an ‘L’ with the index finger and thumb. Place the index finger directly in front of your ear and let the thumb fall right against the base of the skull. The point is roughly there.
This pressure point for sleep — which is also referred to as Gushing Spring — is one of the few points on the bottom of the foot, making it very grounding. It’s located between the ball of your foot and your second or third toes in the same line. The most tender area is the best one to work with.
It’s connected to the adrenal glands, which control the body’s stress response. Meaning, that it’s a particularly effective pressure point for sleep — after all, stress can have a large impact on the quality and quantity of your zzz’s.
Note: If you’re pregnant, you should skip this pressure point for sleep.
A point cited by experts, the Shen Men acupoint is believed to help alleviate insomnia and may even lead to increased sleep quality.
This spot is located on the inner wrist (slightly to the side, close to the spot where people usually measure their pulse). To target this acupoint, readers need to bend the hand forward slightly and find the dip between the two tendons.
Yin Tang is located in the center of both eyebrows in line with the nose and is often referred to as the area of the ‘third eye’.
This acupoint is believed to help with restlessness, agitation, and insomnia.
San Yin Jiao
Massaging the San Yin Jiao point can help improve sleep quality and reduce fatigue. And research backs this up: Studies suggest that targeting this acupoint can lead to “increased REM sleep, more hours of slumber, and overall improved sleep quality,”.
It’s located inside of the leg, on the highest point of the ankle (near the curved ball-like bone),. This point is relatively easy to reach for side sleepers, which means they can incorporate gentle massage while already lying in bed.
Located at the top of the head, Bai Hui “is most easily found by finding the high point of your ear and then sliding up to the top of your head,”. This pressure point for sleep is also known as Hundred Meetings because “it is thought to be where every other acupuncture channel eventually meets,”. And since it’s close to the brain, it’s believed to calm the nervous system, according to TCM and some research.
Going through a routine of the above pressure points for sleep can be a wind-down routine in and of itself. But acupressure will likely work better when combined with other sleep-promoting practices, such as dimming the lights, stretching, journaling, or reading.