Almost all of us have suffered from sleep disorders at some point in our lives and sleep disorders in adults is a common problem. In most cases sleep disorders are temporary – caused by stress or tension and things get better with time, but chronic sleep disorder can interfere with daily life and health of an individual because it affects the quality of sleep and lack of restful sleep affects energy levels, emotional balance, and general health.
Sleep disorder can range from night terrors and insomnia to sleep apnea, dyssomnia, and circadian rhythm sleep disorders. In most cases, people face difficulty to fall asleep or stay asleep due to disturbed sleep. It is agonizing to depend on sleeping pills every time you want to get some rest. Acupressure and reflexology are an effective alternative in this case and the potent acupressure points for sleep can improve the quality of sleep by relieving stress, anxiety, fear, grief and pain. Acupressure therapy helps in distributing the energy evenly throughout the body and helps in relaxing the body.
Types of Sleep Disorders
Trouble in falling asleep or staying asleep throughout the night can be caused due to various factors. Some of the common sleep disorders are as follows:
Insomnia – It is a condition which is characterized by difficulty in falling asleep and staying asleep.
Central Sleep Apnea – In this disorder the breathing during sleep is disrupted because of improper brain functions.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea – This disorder is caused by partial or complete blockage of the upper airway during sleep.
Parasomnias – This is a disruptive sleep disorder that is caused during arousal from REM sleep and is characterized by nightmares, night terrors, sleeping walking, etc.
Nightmares – This is a problem in which an individual wakes up suddenly from sleep terrified from a disturbing nightmare.
Narcolepsy – This is a neurological disorder that disrupts the control of sleep and wakefulness.
Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorder – In this disorder, the circadian rhythm or the internal body clock is disrupted.
Snoring – Snoring is a problem that not only disrupts the quality of sleep of your partner but also affects your own sleep quality.
Symptoms of Sleep Disorders
There are various types of sleep disorders. Some of the recognizable sleep disorder symptoms are as follows:
Feeling irritable and sleepy during the day
Difficulty in staying awake while watching television or reading a book
Falling asleep while driving
Slow reaction and response
Sudden emotional outbursts
Difficulty in concentrating at work or school
Staying awake with the support of caffeinated beverages
10 Useful Acupressure Points to Promote Restful Sleep
Chronic stress, anxiety, and tension can create sleeping disorders. Here are 10 soothing acupressure points that treat insomnia and improve sleep.
The point B38 or Vital Diaphragm is one of the most important acupressure and acupuncture pressure points for treating sleeping disorders and promoting restful sleep. This point is located in the back at the heart level, between the shoulder baled and the spine. Stimulating this point helps in balancing emotions of stress, anxiety, grief and fear that hinder sleep and it is one of the widely used acupressure points for insomnia.
Acupressure point P6 or Pericardium 6 is a well-known point of treating nausea and vomiting. This point is called the Inner Gate point, and it is located in the central point of the inner side of the forearm, two and half finger widths from the wrist crease. This is one of the effective acupressure points for sleep that relieves insomnia and reduces anxiety, indigestion, and palpitations – some of the common problems that hinder sleep.
This point is also beneficial for treating chest congestion, cardiac pain, depression, dizziness, asthma, cough, irritability, and malaria. This point can be stimulated by placing the right thumb on the inner side of the left wrist and pressing the point firmly for one minute and then pressing the point on the other hand.
H7 or Heart 7 is commonly used in acupressure for sleep disorders treatment. This point is also known as the Spirit Gate, and it is located on the inner side of the wrist crease, in line with the little finger. Stimulating this point helps in relieving insomnia caused by overexcitement, emotional issues, anxiety and cold sweat. It also relieves cardiac pain, palpitations, chest pain, epilepsy, and irritability.
This point can be activated by placing the thumb of the right hand on the wrist crease of the left hand and pressing the hollow in the crease for one minute and then switching sides.
B10 or Urinary Bladder10 is a famous acupressure point for treating headache, neck pain and dizziness. This point is positioned on the back of the neck, one-half inch below the base of the skill, on the muscles locates on the outer side of the spine. It is also one of the significant acupressure and acupuncture points for sleep that relieves insomnia, stress and exhaustion that also aids in relaxing and clearing the head and bringing thoughts to rest. It is also useful for treating shoulder pain, back pain, nasal congestion, sore throat and skin problems. In order to stimulate this point curve your fingers and place the fingertips on the thick muscles on the back of the neck. Apply firm pressure on the muscles of 1 minute as you breathe deeply.
Acupressure point GV16 or Governing Vessel 16 is yet another vital pressure point used in the treatment of sleep disorders. This point is also called the Wind Mansion, and it can be found in the center of the back of the head, in a large hollow under the base of the skull. This point helps in relieving insomnia and sleeping disorder caused by mental stress, palpitations, fear, fright, mania and suicidal thoughts. It also aids in treating earache, headache, throat swelling, eye problems, nosebleeds, asthma, chest tightness and spinal cord issues. In order to stimulate this point locate the hollow at the center of the base of your skull and place your middle fingers in this hollow. Tilt your head back and press firmly into this hollow for 1 minute while keeping your eyes closed and breathing deeply.
GB20 or Gall Bladder 20 is a popular acupressure point for relieving migraine, headache, blurred vision, low energy, fatigue and symptoms of cold and flu. This point is also called the Gates of Consciousness, and it is situated below the base of the skull, in the hollow between the two vertical neck muscles. 2 to 3 inches apart based on the side of the head. This point helps in relieving insomnia and disturbed sleep.
This point should be stimulated using the thumbs. Press your thumbs gradually and firmly under the base of your skull for 1 minute keeping your eyes closed and leaning your head back. You will feel an even pulse on the points.
GV24.5 or Governing Vessel 24.5 is one of the best acupressure points for sleep apnea treatment that calms the mind, clarifies ideas and stimulates restful sleep. This point is also called the Third Eye Point, and it is located directly between the eyebrows, in the bend where the bridge of the nose meets the forehead. This point helps in relaxing the central nervous system and relieves anxiety, panic attacks, fear, depression, and insomnia. This is a local point for headache, sinusitis and nosebleeds.
It also helps in treating dizziness, epilepsy, vertigo, and teeth and jaw pain. This point should be stimulated in combination with CV17. Place your right middle fingertip between your eyebrows and place the fingertips of your left hand on CV17, located in the indentations of the breastbone at the level of your heart. Apply pressure for 1 minute while keeping your eyes closed and breathing deeply.
CV17 or Conception Vessel 17 in a useful acupressure point for relieving sleeping disorders located in the center of the breast one, three thumb widths up from the base of the bone. This point is known as the Sea of Tranquillity which helps in relieving insomnia caused by anxiety, nervousness and chest congestion.
This point is also useful for treating cough, asthma, palpitations, breast issues like insufficient lactation and mastitis. This point should be stimulated in combination with GV24.5 as instructed in the previous point.
K6 or Kidney 6 is also a significant acupressure point that promotes restful sleep. This point is called the Shining Sea, and it is located right on the inside of the ankle bone, in a slight depression. Stimulating this point helps in relieving insomnia, hypertension, and anxiety.
This point is also useful for treating digestive disorders, dry and sore throat, irregular menstruation, eye problems, and epilepsy. This point should be stimulated in combination with B62. Use your thumbs to hold the K6 point of one foot and B62 point of the other foot. Press the points for 1 minute while breathing deeply.
The acupressure point B62 or Urinary Bladder 62 is an important point for treating sleeping disorders. This point is located in the first indentation right below the outer anklebone. This point is also called the Extending Vessel, and it is extremely effective in relieving insomnia.