Acupressure Points for Sleep/Insomnia | Sleepopolis (2023)

An alarming statistic from the National Sleep Foundation states that 60% of Americans suffer symptoms of insomnia at least once a week. That’s a worryingly high figure. For many people, the initial and immediate reaction to poor sleeping is to reach for medication. Yet that might not always be the best choice. All medication has some side effects, and many are not recommended for long term use.

Disclaimer: This content on Sleepopolis’ blog is for informational purposes only. If you are dealing with a sleep disorder or other medical issue, please consult a trained medical professional. The techniques discussed in this article are best done under the supervision and advice of a trained medical professional, which we recommend seeking out before undertaking any acupressure techniques.

(Video) Basic Acupressure Techniques : Insomnia and Acupressure

Acupressure has recently come to the fore as an alternative remedy for insomnia. Rather than simply induce sleep, it also attempts to treat some of the various causes of insomnia, like anxiety, stress and too much energy. Here’s a comprehensive guide to using acupressure in order to achieve better sleep.

What Is Insomnia?

Insomnia is defined as difficulty or inability to get to or to stay asleep, despite having the opportunity. It manifests itself as low quality sleep without any adequate reason why, typically over prolonged periods of time. Insomnia sufferers often have symptoms such as fatigue and low energy, poor mood, and difficulty to concentrate, which can affect work life.

What Is Acupressure?

Acupressure Points for Sleep/Insomnia | Sleepopolis (1)

Acupressure is a form of alternative therapy which has been used for thousands of years, particularly in China. A mixture of “acupuncture” and “pressure,” it’s a method in which particular points (“acupoints”) on the body are stimulated manually. This can be done with fingers, palms, elbows and feet, or specialised acupressure tools.

It is based on the idea of energy flowing in particular routes (“meridians”) through the body. It’s believed that these meridians also provide a network between different organs of the body. Acupressure aims to work by clearing blockages of energy along these meridians, and can be used to treat chronic muscle pain, headaches, nausea, and sleep disorders.

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.

(Video) How to Relieve Insomnia with Acupressure

Insomnia is a disorder often without clear physical cause, and thus treating it can be complicated. Acupressure claims that because of its apparent lack of physical cause, the reasons for suffering from insomnia are spiritual and emotional, and thus can be more effectively treated through acupressure, rather than prescribed Western medication.

Which Are The Key Acupoints For Better Sleep?

Acupressure Points for Sleep/Insomnia | Sleepopolis (2)
  • B38. The B38 or Vital Diaphragm acupoint is located at heart level, but in the back, between shoulder blades. It helps balance emotions, which is ideal if sleep is being hindered by anxiety, guilt, stress or depression. You can self-stimulate this pressure point using tennis balls and lying on the floor.
  • The Pericardium 6, also called the Neiguan, is located on the inner wrist, about an inch from the wrist crease. This point claims to treat both anxiety and digestion problems – both of which can contribute to insomnia or poor sleep. Some practitioners say it can be held for almost immediate relaxation, or taped down with a small item in the indent.
  • The Heart 7 point, also called the Shenmen, is located at the wrist crease below the little finger. It’s supposed to calm, which is helpful if insomnia is caused by over-excitement or too much energy.
  • The Bladder 10 point is located half an inch below the base of the skull at the top of your neck. It’s claimed to help relieve stress and exhaustion, which is good for those suffering from overtiredness which is contributing to insomnia.
  • The Shimein point, located at the center-back of the heel, can be stimulated with a small item like a pen for generalized insomnia relief. Take care though – if done correctly, this should not hurt, and you should consult with a qualified and trained professional on its stimulation before attempting.
  • The Anmian point is found just below the ear, where the neck and jaw line connect. It should be held for 15 to 20 minutes with the index and middle finger, to bring on deep and restful sleep.

Is There Any Proof?

Much of the research into the efficacy of acupressure is in its infancy. However, many individuals report success, not just in treating insomnia but for a wide variety of health concerns.

A 2008 study at the Milan, Italy at the San Gerardo Hospital on the benefits of acupressure for insomnia did show animprovement in quality of sleep for participants.

Like many forms of alternative therapy, acupressure may benefit from the placebo effect. This is not to denigrate its efficacy: the placebo effect extremely powerful and is recognized as a key feature in the success of many types of treatment.

Pros of Acupressure

Acupressure does have some measured benefits which are of particular interest to insomnia sufferers. It does relax muscles and encourage blood flow, for example. Acupressure can also be a pleasant experience. Like massage, it feels good to the body. Another benefit is the immediate availability of acupressure. It can be practiced on the self, at home, for free.

Cons of Acupressure

There does exist some skepticism about the overall efficacy of acupressure, particularly for curing things like chronic diseases and infections. Nonetheless, for more abstract conditions like insomnia, there’s some evidence it may be helpful. For those who suffer from conditions such as arthritis, acupressure should be approached with caution so as to not worsen the condition. Another concern with acupressure is its lack of regulation. Outside treatment can vary hugely depending on where you go.

(Video) Learn self-shiatsu to help get a better night's sleep

Other Natural Tips For Better Sleep

  • Gentle stretching can help induce muscle relaxation and aid sleep – try stretching legs and arms and gently massaging back and neck.
  • Tensing and releasing muscles upwards through the body (from toes upwards) can help release tension from the day.
  • A hot bath can also help induce sleep. Raising the body temperature slowly, followed by a rapid cool down, is very relaxing for both the muscles and the mind.
  • Inducing yawning can also help “trick” the brain into tiredness, helping you get to sleep faster.

Disclaimer: This content on Sleepopolis’ blog is for informational purposes only. If you are dealing with a sleep disorder or other medical issue, please consult a trained medical professional. The techniques discussed in this article are best done under the supervision and advice of a trained medical professional, which we recommend seeking out before undertaking any acupressure techniques.

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(Video) Insomnia Acupressure

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Annie Walton Doyle

Annie Walton Doyle is a freelance writer based in Manchester, UK. Her work has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Daily Telegraph, Professional Photography Magazine, Bustle, Ravishly and more. When not writing, she enjoys pubs, knitting, nature and mysteries.

(Video) Acupressure Points For Insomnia - Massage Monday #95


Where is the pressure point for insomnia? ›

The recommended pressure points for improving sleep are: KD1 (the middle of the foot just behind the middle toe) SP6 (the inside of your lower leg, about four inches above the ankle) PC6 (the middle of your arm, about three inches from your hand)

What are the Chinese pressure points for insomnia? ›

An Mian point is placed behind your ear, 1 cm behind the middle of your ear. Placing pressure to this point for 10-20 seconds a few times can help promote better sleep. San Yin Jiao is also known as SP6. San Yin Jiao has been proven to improve sleep patterns for people with insomnia.

What are the acupuncture points for immediate sleep? ›

The Anmian point is found just below the ear, where the neck and jaw line connect. It should be held for 15 to 20 minutes with the index and middle finger, to bring on deep and restful sleep.

How do you make an insomniac sleep? ›

  1. Establish a quiet, relaxing bedtime routine. ...
  2. Relax your body. ...
  3. Make your bedroom conducive to sleep. ...
  4. Put clocks in your bedroom out of sight. ...
  5. Avoid caffeine after noon, and limit alcohol to 1 drink several hours before bedtime. ...
  6. Avoid smoking. ...
  7. Get regular exercise. ...
  8. Go to bed only when you're sleepy.

How do I deal with insomnia instantly? ›

Lifestyle and home remedies
  1. Stick to a sleep schedule. ...
  2. Stay active. ...
  3. Check your medications. ...
  4. Avoid or limit naps. ...
  5. Avoid or limit caffeine and alcohol and don't use nicotine. ...
  6. Don't put up with pain. ...
  7. Avoid large meals and beverages before bed.
Oct 15, 2016

What induces deep sleep? ›

Eating a low-carbohydrate diet or taking certain antidepressants may also promote deep sleep, though more research is needed in this area. Getting enough sleep in general may also increase your deep sleep. Here's some tips: Put yourself on a bedtime schedule where you go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day.

What is the best massage for insomnia? ›

Spend some extra time rubbing the outside of your big toe, which can stimulate melatonin production. Rubbing the ridge of your toes can help relax your neck and shoulders and pressure on the ball of your foot can relax your breathing. Overall, spend 5-10 minutes massaging each foot before bedtime.

What is the 15 minute rule for insomnia? ›

To promote your bed-sleep connection, follow the quarter-of-an-hour rule: if you notice that you aren't asleep within around 15 minutes of going to bed, try getting out of bed, go to another room go through your wind down routine until you are feeling sleepy-tired and ready to return to bed for sleep.

How to cure insomnia in 12 minutes? ›

Try Melatonin

Melatonin can help some people fall asleep. If you try a melt tab, you can literally hit dreamland in under 12 minutes. Some people find if they use melatonin every day that it doesn't work as well, but others do fine with 1-2 mg or more per night.

What can make you fall asleep in seconds? ›

Relaxation script
  • Raise your eyebrows as high as possible for 5 seconds. ...
  • Relax your muscles immediately and feel the tension drop. ...
  • Smile widely to create tension in your cheeks. ...
  • Pause 10 seconds.
  • Squint with your eyes shut. ...
  • Pause 10 seconds.
  • Tilt your head slightly back so you're comfortably looking at the ceiling.

How I cured my chronic insomnia? ›

How you can treat insomnia yourself
  1. go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
  2. relax at least 1 hour before bed, for example, take a bath or read a book.
  3. make sure your bedroom is dark and quiet – use curtains, blinds, an eye mask or ear plugs if needed.
  4. exercise regularly during the day.

How can I trick my body into falling asleep? ›

Fall asleep faster with mental tricks that calm your racing mind
  1. Controlled deep breathing. ...
  2. Meditation. ...
  3. Visualization. ...
  4. Progressive muscle relaxation. ...
  5. Set up a 'worry time' before bed.
Mar 13, 2022

Can you fix sleep insomnia? ›

Insomnia is a common sleep disorder. Over time, lack of sleep can lead to health issues like diabetes, hypertension and weight gain. Behavioral and lifestyle changes can improve your rest. Cognitive behavioral therapy and medication can help as well.

What can I drink to fight insomnia? ›

10 Drinks to Help You Sleep at Night
  • Warm Milk. ...
  • Almond Milk. ...
  • Malted Milk. ...
  • Valerian Tea. ...
  • Decaffeinated Green Tea. ...
  • Chamomile Tea. ...
  • Herbal Tea with Lemon Balm. ...
  • Pure Coconut Water.
Aug 10, 2016

What vitamins help insomnia? ›

While stress, depression, an erratic sleeping schedule, physical illness, and discomfort can all lead to insomnia, some vitamins can contribute to it. In particular, vitamins B6, B12, C, D, and E can improve or lower your sleep quality and duration.

What is the Chinese medicine for insomnia? ›

The most common herbal formulae for insomnia included Wen dan tang, Suan zao ren tang, Ban xia shu mi tang, and Gui pi tang. The most frequently cited herb was suan zao ren (Ziziphi spinosae semen).

Why am I not getting enough deep sleep? ›

Taking naps or spending too much time in bed can weaken your sleep drive. You may lose some of your ability to sleep normally, and as a result, you may get less deep sleep. Substance use and medications. Caffeine, benzodiazepines , and opioid pain medications can all affect deep sleep.

What supplements increase deep sleep? ›

To improve deep sleep, you need to improve your overall restful sleep by following a healthy lifestyle and practicing good sleep hygiene habits. Certain ingredients and nutrients help support better sleep, including Melatonin, Typtophan, B Complex Vitamins, Omega-3, Vitamin D, and Magnesium.

Why am I having trouble sleeping at night all of a sudden? ›

Common causes of chronic insomnia include: Stress. Concerns about work, school, health, finances or family can keep your mind active at night, making it difficult to sleep. Stressful life events or trauma — such as the death or illness of a loved one, divorce, or a job loss — also may lead to insomnia.

How many hours sleep is classed as insomnia? ›

There is no set number of hours of sleep that qualifies someone as having insomnia because each person has different sleep needs. Generally, adults are recommended to get 7 hours of sleep each night.

What is the golden hour for sleep? ›

Is there a “golden hour” to go to sleep that reduces your risk of heart disease? New research has suggested that going to sleep between 10pm and 11pm could be best for your heart.

What is the 3 2 1 rule before bed? ›

3 hours before bed: No more food or alcohol. 2 hours before bed: No more work. 1 hour before bed: No more screen time (shut off all phones, TVs and computers). 0: The number of times you'll need to hit snooze in the AM.

Is there a nerve that makes you fall asleep? ›

The hypothalamus, a peanut-sized structure deep inside the brain, contains groups of nerve cells that act as control centers affecting sleep and arousal.

What chemical makes you sleep instantly? ›

This gland triggers the release of the chemical melatonin. Melatonin makes you feel sleepy and ready for bed.

How to fall asleep in 60 second? ›

First, get settled into a comfy position on your bed. Then, simply inhale through your nose for four seconds, hold your breath for seven seconds, and then exhale slowly through your mouth for eight more seconds. Repeat until you fall asleep. That's all there is to it!

What is the 4 7 8 sleep trick? ›

Close your mouth and quietly inhale through your nose to a mental count of four. Hold your breath for a count of seven. Exhale through your mouth, making a whoosh sound for a count of eight. Repeat the process three more times for a total of four breath cycles.

What part of the foot puts you to sleep? ›

KD3. Research suggests that stimulating the KD3 point, which is also called Taixi, can help ease insomnia. This point is located just above the heel on the inside of the foot.


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