Resource: Acupressure, Sleep 1

This is the first of a series of posts with tips on getting a better night sleep.

Acupressure for Sleep

This post will help you to locate 3 acupuncture points that may help you sleep. Recent sleep research using acupuncture at these points was 84.1% effective, compared to a benzodiazepine pharmaceutical medication at 59.7% and 25% for the control group (read more). This research used mock acupuncture for the two non acupuncture groups, so is unlikely to be explained by placebo effect. It is somewhat mysterious why it does work though, within a Western medicine paradigm.

Rub these points with the end of a pen, your finger or tape a seed to the right place. Do it either for a few minutes before bed or 3 shorter times through the day. Please let me know if you notice an improvement!

Anmian or Peaceful Sleep (EXHN22)

When I used to go to acupuncture every week I’d ask specifically for this point because I noticed the difference in my sleep. It is a little hard to describe where it is. Feel under your earlobe, there’s the big mastoid ‘bump’, there’s a smaller bump underneath that and this point is in the middle between them (see coloured dot or here):

Anmian point image

Anmian Peaceful Sleep

Shen Men or Spirit Gate (Heart 7)

This is well known as a calming point. Find it on the crease of the wrist in the depression of the radial side of the tendon:

Diagram showing Shen Men

Shen Men Spirit Gate


Sanyinjiao or Three Yin Intersection (Spleen 6)

This point is frequently used in acupuncture (though not to be used in pregnancy as may induce labour). The point is one hand-breadth above the inner ankle bone, in the tender spot on the bone border which is closer to the back of the leg:

Diagram of Spleen 6 point

Spleen 6 point


Question: to help my research for further posts in the sleep series, what do you take to help you sleep? Do you feel refreshed in the morning?

8 thoughts on “Resource: Acupressure, Sleep 1

  1. Thank you for this. I have trouble sleeping. When I was diagnosed with CFS/ME the specialist said to have a anti-depressant in the evening to go with the one I was taking in the morning. (They are different anti-depressants). He said research had shown this to be effective in inducing sleep, with less side-effects and with less likelihood of addiction than with sleeping tablets. It does work to some effect, but it still takes time for me to fall asleep. I’ll try this to see if it helps.


  2. Thanks, I’ve never heard of taking different antidepressants at the same time. Years ago I was prescribed amitriptyline at a 10mg (paediatric) dose at night time. It worked well in my initial recovery but after a while the side effects were interfering with my sleep so it became counterproductive…

    Do you feel like you have deep sleep?


  3. Pingback: Sleeping on the Edge of Sleep | Sleeping on the Edge of Sleep

  4. Pingback: Online Acupuncture School | Colleges & Universities

  5. I keep forgetting to use these points. Sharing it again as may help people. BTW I feel acupuncture points as more tender when pressed. This may help you find the right spot. If in doubt rub the general area.


  6. Pingback: Resource: insomnia, what works best? Sleep 4 | Tips for ME

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