Sleep disorders are fairly common. Many people have trouble sleeping at one point in their lives. Having trouble sleeping for a night may not be alarming, but it poses a problem if it happens to you on a regular basis. If you have trouble sleeping or staying asleep, these acupressure points for sleep may be what you need to catch some much-needed zzzs.
What is acupressure?
Acupressure is related to acupuncture in that it has its origins in traditional Chinese medicine. The ancient Chinese believe that our bodies are composed of acupressure points (pressure points) that lie along channels where vital energy flow. This energy or life force is called chi.
When we have a good flow of energy (chi), our bodies are well-balanced and we remain healthy. But, if these channels are blocked, it can cause us to feel sick.
Similar to acupuncture, the process of acupressure helps correct the flow when there is an imbalance of energy in our bodies. These are also the same pressure points being targeted in acupuncture with the use of fine needles.
Acupressure points for sleep
When you find yourself tossing and turning, often unable to fall asleep, it can be a sign of insomnia. Some people suffer from chronic insomnia, while others have the symptoms for only a short period of time. Either way, losing sleep is never good for you.
Acupressure can be a great alternative to taking medications when you want to get a good night’s sleep.
You can try using these five pressure points to help you sleep:
Pressure Point 1: The Spirit Gate
You can locate the spirit gate point on your inner wrist crease, just below your pinkie finger. Locate a hollow space in the area, and then gently put pressure on it for about 2 to 3 minutes. You can apply circular motions or up-and-down motions. Repeat the same process for both of your wrists.
Pressure Point 2: The Three Yin Intersection
The three yin intersection can be found four fingers’ width above your ankle, in your inner lower leg. It is called three yin intersections because it is where three yin meridians meet. These meridians are for the spleen, liver, and kidney. When you locate the area, begin applying deep pressure and then massage for a few seconds.
Aside from insomnia, it is believed that applying pressure to these acupoints can help with urological problems, digestive problems, reproductive disorders, and relieving pain in your lower leg.
Pressure Point 3: The Bubbling Spring
You can locate this acupoint on the sole of your foot. Curl your toes and find a small depression in the middle of your sole. Once you feel the depression on your sole, start applying pressure for a few minutes. You may use circular or up-and-down motions.
This is the only acupoint found in the sole of the foot. And, it is believed to have a grounding effect on the person. It helps induce sleep.
Pressure point 4: The Inner Frontier Gate
This acupoint is found near the spirit gate point. It is located in the middle of your inner forearm, just about 3 finger widths below the crease of your inner wrist.
Place your palm face-up. You should be able to feel a hollow between your tendons when you locate the area. Then, apply steady pressure and massage for about 5 seconds.
This acupoint can help you relax, which induces sleep. Because it makes you relaxed, it can also be used to reduce anxiety.
Pressure point 5: The Wind Pool
This acupoint is found at the back of your neck, below your occiput. It is the area where your neck muscles meet with the base of your skull. When you locate the area, apply firm pressure and then gently massage for about 5 seconds, breathing deeply as you do. You may use circular or up-and-down motions.
This acupoint is known for improving blood flow and relaxing the mind. It helps us to sleep better. It is also good for treating respiratory problems.
Research studies about acupressure for sleep
Current research shows very promising results. For example, here are some findings of acupressure in relieving sleep problems:
- One study showed that acupressure is helpful in improving sleep quality for menopausal women. It helped relieve sleep disorders among them. 
- A study of the effectiveness of acupressure in improving the sleep quality of elderly residents of a facility showed that acupressure helped them to sleep better. Night wakeful time and nocturnal awakening were significantly reduced after acupressure intervention. 
- Another study showed that acupressure helped reduce psychological distress and improved the quality of sleep of nursing home residents. 
- A study on the effects of acupressure therapy on adolescents showed that their sleep duration increased after a 6-months treatment. 
- Another study showed that acupressure can potentially improve insomnia for residents of long-term care facilities 
Sleep is an important part of our lives. Our bodies need it to rest and to repair cells through the night. When we lose sleep, we become irritable, moody, and lose concentration.
If you’re having sleep problems, you may turn to acupressure for relief. You can try doing self-acupressure using gentle motions, or even better receive acupuncture for a stronger effect.
Are you looking for a natural way to help with your sleep problems? Irvine Meridian Health Center has been providing patients relief with acupuncture for insomnia. Visit our office or call us to know more!