Q. I would like to share an acupressure tip that helps me sleep. Tape a dried kidney bean to the inside of your right wrist. I locate this point between the two tendons by measuring the width of three fingers from the wrist crease.
This gives me around eight hours of very sound sleep. If I have to get up to go the bathroom I still go right back to sleep. This approach is cheap, safe and better than anything I have used in the past.
A. You are describing a traditional acupressure point called the “Inner Gate.” Pressing on this spot is reported to help reduce anxiety, slow the heart and promote sleep. A randomized study using sham acupressure points for control demonstrated that such techniques can be effective against insomnia.
Here is another reader’s reaction to this approach:
“I read in your column about an acupressure point on the inner arm to aid sleep. You suggested taping a kidney bean between the two tendons, 3 finger widths from the wrist.
“My husband and I tried it, and it’s been amazing! The tape proved uncomfortable on our skin, so we’re using plastic “marbles” (for arranging flowers in vases) instead of a kidney bean, and we secure it with an elastic band. It has improved our sleep tremendously, and we wanted to thank you.”
What an ingenious adaptation of the technique! Other readers have also reported good success with the kidney bean, but it does get tricky.
For those who would like a commercial alternative, there are elastic wristbands (Sea Bands) with a plastic button embedded. They are sold for nausea associated with pregnancy and motion sickness and can be adjusted to put pressure on the same acupuncture point.
You can learn more about acupressure and other natural approaches to counter insomnia in our Guide to Getting a Good Night’s Sleep.