Acupressure Points for Sleep

April 3, 2023
3 min

Acupuncture Points Mentioned in this Article

Insomnia and persistent sleep issues can be distressing and debilitating, and while some might opt for sleeping pills, natural remedies like acupressure warrant your attention. Massaging particular acupoints can relax your body and mind, bolstering your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Perspective on Sleep and Insomnia

According to TCM, clear meridians are crucial for maintaining sleep and overall health. Sleep is an intricate phenomenon, and its understanding through the lens of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) can provide valuable insights. Certain acupoints are thought to aid in falling asleep, while others contribute to maintaining sleep. The body's "meridians" are channels for life energy (qi, blood, and fluids). When these meridians are clear, organ functions can operate smoothly, maintaining physical and mental health and promoting sleep quality. In other words, to embrace health and sleep well every night, it is necessary to promote the smooth flow of meridians. Similarly, waking up at specific times during the night might signal an imbalance in a particular meridian, highlighting other potential issues.

Pressure Points for Sleep on the Head and Neck

Peaceful Sleep (Anmian 安眠) Extra Point Acupoint

Peaceful Sleep manages involuntary nervous system activities for better sleep. Peaceful Sleep is known for its ability to help improve sleep and provide a calming effect, which can help manage sleep troubles like insomnia. It's a key point for managing activities of our involuntary nervous system, relaxing neck muscles, and helping to ease issues like stiff neck and irritability, ensuring a peaceful, uninterrupted sleep and a calm mental state.

Where is Acupuncture Point Anmian?

AnMian is found halfway between the dip behind your earlobe and the curve of the bone on the back of your head.

How to find Acupressure Point Anmian?

  1. Find the depression behind your earlobe with your finger.
  2. Move your finger slightly towards the hairline and downward, finding a second depression at the bone.
  3. The AnMian point is at the midpoint between these two depressions.

Wind Pool (Fengchi 風池) GB20 Acupoint

Wind Pool improves sleep quality and manages sleep troubles. Wind Pool, or GB20, is appreciated for its positive effects on improving sleep quality and managing various sleep troubles by helping to ease headaches and promoting good blood flow. It also helps with eye strain, dryness, and blurred vision, enhancing overall physical and mental wellbeing, ensuring restful nights.

Where is Acupuncture Point GB20?

GB20 is where the hairline meets the lower edge of the bone at the back of your head.

How to find Acupressure Point GB20?

  1. Place the palms of your hands over your ears.
  2. Move your thumbs upwards along the hairline.
  3. Your thumbs will naturally rest in a depression - this is the GB20 point.

Pressure Points for Sleep on the Hand

Union Valley (Hegu 合谷 LI4) Acupoint

Union Valley enhances sleep quality and mitigates disturbances. Union Valley is a pivotal point in treating various conditions, with a special knack for enhancing sleep quality and mitigating sleep disturbances. By stabilizing the flow of Qi and blood throughout the body, Hegu helps alleviate headaches and soothe nervous tension, enabling a calmer mind conducive to deep, peaceful sleep. It can be particularly beneficial for individuals experiencing difficulty in falling asleep or those who encounter shallow, unrestful sleep.

Where is Acupuncture Point LI4?

Union Valley is situated about 1.5 centimeters from the palm bone, specifically in the elevated muscle area when the thumb and index finger are brought together.

How to find Acupressure Point LI4?

  1. Start with your hand open and fingers spread.
  2. Bring your thumb and index finger close together.
  3. Observe the highest point of the muscle that protrudes slightly—this is often referred to as the "tiger's mouth."
  4. The Union Valley point is located on this highest point and may feel tender when pressed.

Inner Pass (Neiguan 內關) PC6 Acupressure Point

Inner Pass relaxes the mind and supports enhanced sleep quality. Inner Pass serves as a valuable point to address a spectrum of sleep issues by inviting tranquility and relaxing the mind. Regular stimulation of this point can lead to reduced stress levels, alleviated palpitations, and relief from chest tightness, all of which pivotally support the enhancement of sleep quality. Additionally, by keeping the body's energies in check, Neiguan assists in preventing disturbances like nocturnal swelling and promotes consistent, restful sleep throughout the night.

Where is Acupuncture Point PC6?

Inner Pass is positioned on the wrist crease, roughly two inches (or three finger widths) toward the elbow, nestled between two tendons.

How to find Acupressure Point PC6?

  1. Begin with your arm outstretched and palm facing upward.
  2. Find the wrist crease.
  3. Measure approximately two inches (or use the width of three of your fingers) up from this crease, towards the elbow.
  4. Make a gentle fist to identify the tendons; Neiguan lies between the flexor carpi ulnaris and the palmaris longus tendons.
  5. You may find a small depression between these tendons which indicates the Neiguan point.

Labor Palace (Laogong 勞宮) PC8 Acupoint

Labor Palace manages heart energy and enhances mental wellness for sleep. Labor Palace, PC8, located in the palm of the hand, is praised for its ability to manage heart energy and reduce internal heat, which can be instrumental in enhancing sleep quality and overall mental wellness. Managing energy through this point has a healing effect on the entire body, promoting mental clarity and emotional stability, which directly supports healthy sleep patterns.

Where is Acupuncture Point PC8?

PC8 is in the palm, between the bones of the 3rd and 4th fingers.

How to find Acupressure Point PC8?

  1. Make a hollow fist, palm facing upwards.
  2. Lightly press with the middle and ring fingers against the palm.
  3. The spot between the tips of these two fingers is the PC8 point.

Pressure Points for Sleep on the Back

Heart Shu (Xinshu 心俞) BL15 Acupoint

Heart Shu manages heart health and emotional well-being for sound sleep. Heart Shu, BL15, is crucial for managing heart health and emotional well-being, important in managing symptoms like heart palpitations, tightness in the chest, insomnia, and nervous weakness. Not only for heart-related issues, but BL15 is also utilized to manage various mental health concerns, helping to harmonize the mind and body to promote sound, refreshing sleep.

Where is Acupuncture Point BL15?

BL15 is located beside the fifth bony bump down your spine, approximately the width of your thumb lateral to the spine.

How to find Acupressure Point BL15?

  1. Find the top of your spine and count down to the fifth bony bump.
  2. Move your finger approximately the width of your thumb to the side of the spine.
  3. BL15 is located here, one on each side of the spine.

Sleeping Pressure Points on the Foot

Gushing Spring (Yongquan 湧泉) KI1 Acupoint

Gushing Spring rejuvenates mental energy and provides stress relief for sleep. It, KI1, is widely recognized for its various wellness benefits, specifically its efficacy in relieving leg fatigue, soothing muscle pain, and notably, enhancing sleep by offering a release of mental tension and alleviating headaches. It facilitates a rejuvenation of mental energy and provides relief from emotional stressors that can hamper restful sleep.

Where is Acupuncture Point KI1?

KI1 is located about 1/3 from the front end of the sole of the foot.

How to find Acupressure Point KI1?

  1. Sit comfortably, placing one foot on the opposite knee.
  2. Curl the toes downward.
  3. Identify a depression that appears on the sole; KI1 is located here.

Great Surge (Taichong 太衝) LR3 Acupoint

Great Surge stabilizes emotions and fosters optimal conditions for sleep. Great Surge, LR3, is notable for its powerful ability to stabilize emotions, relieve tension, and manage liver health, making it a vital point for managing insomnia and high blood pressure. Using LR3 in acupressure practice assists in establishing a balanced mental and emotional state, fostering optimal conditions for a tranquil sleep.

Where is Acupuncture Point LR3?

LR3 is situated on the top of the foot, between the first and second toes.

How to find Acupressure Point LR3?

  1. Locate the top of the foot.
  2. Find the space between the first and second toes.
  3. Move roughly one thumb's width backward, finding a depression - this is LR3.

Pressure Points for Insomnia from Anxiety

Spirit Gate (Shenmen 神門) HT7 Acupoint

Spirit Gate promotes a stable, peaceful mind, benefiting sleep. Spirit Gate, HT7, is essential for managing emotional and mental wellness, significantly impacting improving sleep by calming the mind and reducing sleep problems caused by anxiety. Regularly working with this point helps to promote a stable, peaceful mind, benefiting those dealing with persistent sleep troubles and anxiety.

Where is Acupuncture Point HT7?

HT7 is found at the wrist crease, along the side that aligns with the thumb.

How to find Acupressure Point HT7?

  1. Extend one arm forward with the palm facing upwards.
  2. Focus on the crease of the wrist.
  3. Identify HT7 at the crease along the side that aligns with the thumb.

How to Use Acupressure Points For Sleep

Acupressure may aid restful sleep through focused point application. Acupressure points, such as Spirit Gate, Inner Pass, Gushing Spring, Wind Pool and the others may help you achieve a more restful night's sleep.

Here are some practical tips to get the most out of these acupressure techniques:

  • Create a serene environment: Choose a quiet space where distractions are minimal. This calm setting will enhance your focus and heighten the healing effects of acupressure.

  • Deep breathing: Initiate your session by inhaling and exhaling deeply. This not only calms your mind but also prepares your body for the acupressure session, making it more receptive to the process.

  • Clean hands: Hygiene is essential. Ensure that your hands are clean before you start. This will prevent any potential infections, especially when dealing with sensitive areas.

  • Consistency is key: Regular application of these acupressure techniques is more beneficial than sporadic sessions. Aim to integrate these into your daily or weekly routine for a sustained impact

Acupressure responses can vary, and if you don't experience the desired relief, consulting with a licensed acupuncturist or traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) practitioner for personalized advice may be beneficial.

Simplify Your Acupressure Sessions with Moxa

Moxa Acupressure App provides tailored acupressure sessions for sleep. For a simplified approach to incorporating acupressure into your daily routine for improved sleep and insomnia management, consider using the Moxa Acupressure App. This app is designed to provide tailored sessions and rituals aimed at promoting restful sleep and overall well-being. Explore the convenience of identifying the right acupressure points, managing session durations, and tracking your progress with the help of Moxa. Let Moxa guide you on your journey to better sleep and establish a consistent acupressure practice for a more restful night.

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