"Acupressure is a healing method that has been used for thousands of years," says Sara Panton, a wellness expert and co-founder of Vitruvi, a brand that makes essential oils. "I really love using acupressure because it requires no expensive equipment, and it can be done any time of day," she adds. "Some of my favorite times to use these points is waiting in lines to get a coffee, when I'm in an Uber or driving somewhere. Acupressure relies on points all over the body that stimulate different body systems—in general, it's a gentler and less invasive form of acupuncture, which uses thin needles to stimulate pressure points." To take advantage of the helpful (and free) effects acupressure can have on your mind and your body, keep reading for Panton's sage advice. Below, the four pressure points for better sleep.
"Located in the firm skin between the thumb and index finger, the hand valley point is known to reduce stress, relieve migraines and neck pain, and decrease tension caused by stress," says Panton. Stimulating this point will also help remove excess heat from your body, and your body temperature should dip as you approach bedtime and continue to cool until it nears morning. If you're too warm, it can interfere with this natural temperature cycle and make you restless.
Base of Thumb Point
"The Acupressure Points Guide says the base of thumb point, located above your wrist at the base of the thumb, is thought to help with deepening breathing, which is especially helpful before bed," says Panton. Over time, regular stimulation of the base of thumb point will help with any coughing or breathing problems—issues that are especially tough when you're trying to fall asleep.
Wind Pool Point
"Located at the back of the head," explains Panton, "halfway between your ear and spine and between those two muscles that come together, the wind pool point is thought to help with relieving pain in your eyes, ears, throat, and headaches, as well as helping to generally distress and calm your mind and body for a restful night's sleep."
Bright Light Point
"The bright light point is located just below your eyebrows, toward the inner corners of your eyes," says Panton. "Pressure applied there is thought to help provides relief from migraines and is a great point to do before bed while you're lying in bed." Just apply pressure for 60 seconds on both sides, and you should find it easier to drift off to sleep.
This article is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be used in the place of advice of your physician or other medical professionals. You should always consult with your doctor or healthcare provider first with any health-related questions. See our full health disclaimer here.