The 7 Best Pressure Points for Sleep
There are a lot of things that can prevent us from getting a good night's sleep. Anxiety, insomnia, poor sleep hygiene are just some of the many things that can keep us up at night. In exchange for a full night's rest, we'll do just about anything. We'll buy sleep patches, invest in ergonomic pillows, avoid television, and more. But did you ever think of using pressure points for sleep?
What Is Acupressure and How Does it Improve Sleep Quality?
Acupressure is a traditional Chinese technique that uses gentle but firm pressure with fingers, fists, hands, or massagers to stimulate pressure points to help you fall asleep faster.
Acupuncture and acupressure work on the same principle. They both target specific parts of the body to relieve tension and offer comfort. The only difference? Acupuncture uses needles to go past the surface of the skin while acupressure relies solely on massage and pressure.
Certain pressure points respond to certain health issues so depending on the problem you face, you might need to focus your attention on specific acupressure points to get maximum relief and restore the inner balance of the body.
All meridians or ‘energy lines’ are connected to tissues and organs. This means, stimulating them may prove to be beneficial in reducing pain, and blocking out all the other issues that lead to poor sleep quality, thus inducing better sleep.
Research suggests that acupressure, a treatment done through thumb and finger pressure, is a Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) modality that has the potential to improve sleep quality with no reported side effects.
Luckily for us, unlike acupuncture, acupressure can be performed on our own, and at the comfort of our home.
What Acupressure Points Help You Fall Asleep?
Our body is filled with pressure points. Some sources state that there may be over 300 pressure points in the body. As stated above, different pressure points respond to different issues.
When it comes to sleep, our body has 7 pressure points that can help our body tackle sleep-related issues that take root from stress, headaches, and anxiety. By applying pressure to these essential regions, you can restore energy distribution around the body and hence sleep like a baby.
can typically locate it by reaching out behind your ears to the hollow under the base of the skull, or where your skull attaches to the muscles forming your neck, to be more exact.
Once you locate it, apply gentle pressure and use a circular motion to these pressure points with your hands clasped together at the back of your head. Gently open your palms to cup the back of your head with your fingers interlocked and massage for up to three minutes. Take deep breaths when massaging this acupressure pressure point.
Massaging this pressure point may help relieve sleep disorders triggered by stress, respiratory issues, palpitations, and fear.
Inner Frontier Gate
The Inner Frontier gate pressure point is located approximately three fingers in length above the inner side of the wrist. It's located between the two tendons and is incredibly easy to maneuver around. The practice of this acupressure point for sleep can easily be incorporated into your routine.
Gently apply pressure to the inner frontier gate pressure point with your thumb and massage it in circular or up-and-down motion right before your bedtime. Repeat with the other hand. Applying pressure at this spot will help you slowly drift off to a comfortable, restful sleep.
This acupressure pressure point, in addition to treating insomnia, also treats nausea, dizziness, irritability, and vomiting by reducing anxiety, stomach pain, indigestion, and headaches.
San Yin Jiao
Unless you’re a side sleeper, you might find accessing the San Yin Jiao pressure point a challenge in itself. Also called the Three Yin Intersection, this pressure point is located on your inner leg, at the highest point of your ankle.
Measure four finger widths up your leg from the curved-ball line bone above your ankle to locate the small dip in between the two tendons. Apply deep pressure to the space above your ankle, just behind the tibia to massage this pressure point using circular or up-and-down motions.
Stimulating this point is said to help you fall asleep, relieve menstrual cramps, urinary issues, and help with other pelvic disorders. While most women struggle with sleep disorders during their pregnancy, they might want to explore pressure points as this pressure point is known to induce labor for pregnant women.
An Mian translates to ‘peaceful sleep’. This pressure point is known for its accessibility and is used to treat insomnia, both in acupuncture and acupressure. It is also known for reducing anxiety, headaches, and vertigo.
All you have to do is locate the spot between your earlobe and move your fingers just behind the bony protrusion and stimulate it using your thumb, forefinger, or middle finger. Massaging this spot will help calm the mind and lower the heart rate to a steady murmur, thus helping you drift peacefully into slumber.
The Spirit Gate pressure point is also called Shen Men. Shen Men can be located by following the direction of your little finger all the way to the palm until you meet the crease at your outer wrist.
To massage the Shen Men pressure point, press the space between the tendons with the thumb from your other hand and apply firm pressure in circular or up-and-down motions. Repeat the process with your other wrist and thumb.
Acupuncture and acupressure practitioners believe that this pressure point can be instrumental in helping patients with anxiety disorders, depression, hypertension, heart disease, and insomnia.
This pressure point can help you battle insomnia by calming the mind and easing stress. It can also reduce fear and nausea.
The Yin Tang pressure point is located directly between your eyes, just above your nose. Its location in the center makes it easier to remember and especially when you’ve got a tricky migraine or sinus pain you can’t shake off.
Applying pressure at the spot between your eyes and eyebrows and massage this pressure point using light pressure with your finger or thumb.
Yin Tang can lighten the tension across your forehead, neck, jawline, and shoulders and help induce sleep. It may help treat restlessness, fear, and agitation-related issues.
Taixi (KDT) is a pressure point located in the foot, close to the heel. Following your heel, go up from the sole of your foot and stop right before you notice a small dip between the tendons on the inner side of your leg.
Now, apply firm but consistent and comfortable pressure to this Taixi pressure point to add an element of relaxation which will help you prepare for sleep. Repeat with the other foot.
If you suffer from insomnia, this point can help tackle issues surrounding it. It may also improve sleep quality, treat hypertension, and lower blood pressure to meet healthy levels.
Don't Forget to Talk to Your Doctor
Acupressure practitioners can help you effectively deal with your sleep issues. If you don’t notice a difference in your sleep quality and duration after trying the acupressure treatment, seek medical advice from a professional. Together, you can explore the treatment options that can help you tackle the issue.
Acupressure for sleep is a non-invasive treatment that has, for centuries, proved to be quite effective. While there isn't tons of research to back its sleep-inducing benefits, its zero-risk component makes it one of the safest procedures actively sought out by people who experience sleep issues.
If you don't think acupressure is the right solution, look to Sandland Sleep for help falling asleep. Our goal is to help people fall asleep quickly and stay asleep throughout the night. No highs, hangovers, or morning grogginess, just quality sleep. Our products are GMO-free and are made from natural, hemp-derived ingredients. If you don't experience results, you can take advantage of our 30-day Good Sleep Guarantee.
Pressure points are sensitive parts of the body that are believed to restore balance, relieve pain, and improve health when stimulated. Wind pool, inner frontier gate, san yin jiao, an mian, spirit gate, yin tang, and taixi are considered sleeping pressure points.
Pressure points can be tricky to maneuver around. If you’re helping someone sleep through acupressure, consider using the spirit gate acupressure point for faster results.
While there's no way to guarantee sleep in 10 seconds or less, you can start by relaxing your muscles and clearing your mind. If you're having trouble doing so, consider repeating a phrase or pair of words over and over again. This might help unwind and fall asleep fast.
Want to stay alert and focused? Try stimulating pressure points located at the top of the head, at the top of the back of both sides of the neck, on the back of the hands between the thumb and forefinger, below the knees, and on the bottom of the feet can help get rid of sleepiness.
The vagus nerve, aka the longest nerve of the autonomic nervous system, balances the nervous system by promoting a relaxation response, which can help put you to sleep and improve sleep quality.