kidney beans

We love simple approaches to common problems, so when we heard about a clever home remedy for insomnia we were intrigued. The approach takes advantage of an acupressure point that is supposed to help induce sleep. But could a person be too vigorous with this remedy and end up causing harm?

Clever Home Remedy for Insomnia:

Q. You have described a method for falling asleep that involves taping a kidney bean to the wrist at the Inner Gate acupressure point. I did this, and it worked! I taped a bean to each wrist, and found I was easily able to get back to sleep after awakening during the night.

After a few days, I began to see a deep, dark bruise on my right wrist where the bean was taped. So I stopped using this method on the right wrist.

A few weeks later, I started to see bruising on my left wrist where the bean was taped. So I stopped taping on that wrist. What’s going on? Is it safe for me to resume the process?

What Could Be Causing the Bruising?

A. It sounds as though you may be especially vulnerable to bruising. Perhaps you are taking aspirin, turmeric, fish oil or something else that increases the risk of bruising or bleeding.

Another possibility is that your tape is too tight. If you are applying the bean the way you would tape a box shut for shipping, you might be overdoing it.

We are encouraged, though, that you found the technique helpful for getting back to sleep. A review of 32 randomized controlled trials found that acupressure could help people fall asleep faster and sleep longer (Waits et al, Sleep Medicine Reviews, online Dec. 22, 2016).

Elastic Wrist Bands Should Also Work:

Why not try elastic wristbands (such as Sea-Bands or Travel-Eze) that are sold for motion sickness? They hold plastic buttons in place over the acupressure spot, once positioned, without squeezing the wrist too hard. It’s a little more expensive than your home approach. Still, it might be safer and more comfortable than your clever home remedy for insomnia.

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  1. Deanna

    I’d like to know where exactly where the pressure point is located in the wrist. I like to try it for my sleeping problem

  2. KATHY
    Stuart Florida

    While experiencing vertigo I used sea-bands according to instructions. Vertigo was 99% gone within 15 minutes. No longer wear the bands while sleeping but occasionally experiencing a very mild vertigo while turning head during sleep.

  3. Susan

    Perhaps the color of the kidney bean is rubbing off!

  4. William

    I tried this using the Sea Brand elastic bands and they hurt my wrists so bad I used them for only one night. Clearly not a remedy for me.

  5. Leonorah

    I began using the sea bands several weeks ago and they seem to be working for me. I also keep a very dark room and diffuse lavender right beside my bed.

  6. Michael
    Spring Arbor, MI.

    A remedy that’s worked for me so far for severe insomnia. One tablespoon of tart cherry concentrate, 10 mg melatonin, and 200 mg of quality magnesium 1/2 hour before bed time.

  7. P. Robin
    St Petersburg,Fl

    I bought the Seabands for myself and my husband, and they work for both of us. I have stopped waking up every night and having trouble falling back to sleep. It took about a week for me to sleep almost every night straight through until morning.

  8. Gregory Garza
    San Antonio Texas

    I have been using the Sea Band since I first read your weekly tips and it has worked well for me, no problem with wrist. My wife tried it and the Sea Band hurt her wrist but she is very sensitive. But it works for me. Better than the drugs prescribed by physicians.

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