Sleep deprivation is not an urban legend. When life gets busy, people may reduce their time spent sleeping to squeeze out a few extra hours to use. However, a lack of sleep not only leads to unsightly dark circles under your eyes, but it also reduces energy levels, affecting your quality of life and work performance. Through an extended period of time, this can cause premature aging, memory loss, obesity and also weaken your immune system.
Looking for ways to improve your quality of sleep? Try out this acupressure massage sequence before bed to help you relax, fall asleep easier and sleep deeper. It can be an easy and effective way to help improve sleep quality and only takes 15-20 minutes to complete.
Shenmen is a great acupressure point to calm the mind and reduce anxiety. You can find it just under the inner edge of your wrist crease, with your palm facing upwards. Press gently with your thumb for about five minutes in a circular or an up and down motion.
Stimulating this acu-point can calm the heart and spirit, relieve chest tightness and helps particularly well with insomnia. It is found about three fingers width away from your wrist crease, along the middle of your forearm. Massage this point with your thumb for five minutes in a small, circular motion.
3) Shenmen (Ear)
This is another Shenmen acu-point found on the upper part of your ear, in the triangular fossa, which is great for relieving stress, anxiety, insomnia, headaches and pain. To stimulate this point, pinch it with your index finger and thumb on either side of the ear and move your fingers in a circular motion. Massage this point one to two times a day for about a minute.
Hegu can help boost blood circulation, relieve pain and stress. It is located between the base of your thumb and index fingers, and lies on the highest point of the muscle. Press the acu-point together with the thumb and index finger from your other hand for five minutes, then switch hands.
Note: This acu-point is not suitable for pregnant women.
Baihui is commonly used for calming the senses, helping to ease tension and anxiety, and lift one’s spirits. This acu-point is found at the centre in the top of your head. Gently massage the point with your thumb for several seconds, release then repeat around 10 times.
Yongquan is located on the sole of the foot, approximately ⅓ from the front of the sole and ⅔ from the back of the sole, and lies between the second and third toes. This acu-point can help promote blood circulation, and is particularly suitable for people with cold hands and feet. Moreover, it can also help restore energy levels and keep your mind active. To stimulate the point, you can roll a golf ball under your foot, or use your thumb to rub it in a circular motion for about 30 seconds.
Can acupressure massage really help with insomnia?
While acupressure massage is perhaps not the magic bullet for curing chronic insomnia, it can help promote relaxation and improve your well-being. If done regularly, this self-massage sequence can lead to an improvement in sleep quality and increased energy levels. Getting sufficient sleep is key to your physical and mental well-being, and also for maintaining a good quality of life.