Whether you struggle with drifting off every now and then, or badly suffer from insomnia, nobody enjoys restlessness whilst sleeping. A 2022 survey by YouGov found that nearly half of Britons (49%) think they don't get enough sleep, and only 5% got nine hours or more. A variety of things can lead to sleep struggles, ranging from stress to an uncomfortable mattress (upgrade to the best mattress to stop these problems). If you're like me, even the thought of travelling somewhere new the next day can keep you awake for hours.
Going to a doctor with insomnia issues can sometimes feel like a lost cause. They tell us to ‘reduce your work stress’ or ‘avoid all screens after 6pm’. Easier said than done Doctor! This is where the latest viral sleep hack comes in - Acupressure.
What is Acupressure?
Acupressure is a noninvasive form of acupuncture that can help ease symptoms of health issues, including insomnia. Instead of using metal needles inserted below the skin to stimulate the central nervous system, acupressure just involves using pressure. It can safely be performed at home and involves applying pressure to a specific point on your body with your finger, hand, fist or a mat.
How does Acupressure help insomnia?
Preliminary evidence suggests acupressure does help people with insomnia get better sleep. The idea behind the practice is that energy flows through the body following certain routes or pathways, creating network connections between different parts of the body.
Acupressure works to clear any blockages along these pathways, restoring the natural flow of energy. Once cleared, your body and mind can return to a place of balance and harmony, improving your overall wellbeing and sleep habits.
What are the best pressure points to try?
The recommended pressure points for improving sleep are:
The An Mian points are found 1 cm behind the midpoint of the ear, over the skull. To find them, place a finger behind each earlobe, and move the fingers just behind the bony bit. Applying light pressure for 30 seconds should do the trick!
HT7, also called Shen Men, is located on the underside of the wrist, just under the bottom of the hand. Bend your hand forward slightly and apply pressure to the outer part of your wrist, on the side closest to the pinky finger.
To access the SP6 point, find the highest point of the ankle on the inside of the leg. Measure four finger-widths up the leg and apply deep pressure just behind the bone above the ankle. This pressure point is also known to help with menstrual cramps.
The Yin Tang point is in the centre of the eyebrows, just above the nose. Apply light pressure with your eyes closed for about 30 seconds, or have a partner do it for you.
Want to find out more? Have a look at these other sleep hacks and make your choice.