sleepy man, Klonopin for insomnia, melatonin under your tongue

When job stresses or money worries get to you, what do you do to fall asleep? Many people try taking a sleep aid, whether it’s an OTC product like Tylenol PM or a prescription medication like zolpidem or zaleplon. Have you tried acupressure wristbands? They might be more effective than counting sheep.

Sea-Bands to Help You Fall Asleep:

Q. You had a story in which a mother said her son had sleeping problems. Someone suggested Sea-Bands for motion sickness, nausea and other problems. The son put on the Sea-Bands and his sleeping problems disappeared.

I read your column and immediately purchased a pair of Sea-Bands. Much to my surprise, this worked the first night and for the next 16 days up to today.

I know it will not work for everyone. I told my doctor about this and got no response. Why not?

Acupressure and Sleep:

A. Sea-Bands are designed to stimulate acupressure points. Most physicians have not been trained in this approach. There are, however, some studies to support this low-tech treatment.

A group of investigators tried Sea-Bands in distressed teens and concluded that “Acupressure is a noninvasive, safe, and effective method for the management of insomnia in adolescents, with good compliance and no adverse effects.” (Carotenuto et al, Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, Jan. 24, 2013).

Another study found that pregnant women given wristbands and shown where to place them had significantly better sleep quality (Neri et al, Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies, Feb. 2016).  Acupressure on the wrist also helped elderly people with Alzheimer disease sleep more easily (Simoncini et al, Aging Clinical and Experimental Research, Feb. 2015). We don’t know why all this recent research was conducted in Italy.

Learn More:

You can learn the details about this and many other nondrug approaches to insomnia from our Guide to Getting a Good Night’s Sleep. Access to this online resource is sold at

You might also want to listen to some of our interviews on sleep, such as Show 1047: How to Sync Your Body Clock to Get the Sleep You Need.

Other shows that may be of interest include Show 878: Solving the Sleep Dilemma  and Show 1067: Should You Worry About OTC Sleeping Pills?

This post from another site has a picture of two different acupressure points on the wrist, both the Spirit Gate and the Inner Gate, that can be useful in overcoming insomnia.

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  1. John e

    I wear fingerless knit gloves to bed – they help me go to sleep & stay asleep- before I began wearing them I often woke with stiff fingers “trigger finger?” and finger cramps. If I forget the gloves I wake up in the night missing them

  2. Susan
    Tidewater, Va

    For years my husband returns home from work around 8pm. He enjoys a Coke and Bourbon, along with a snack to eat before going to bed around 9pm. He’s had insomnia for more years than I can remember and has tried every prescription sleep medication multiple times to no avail. I’ve suggested he drink decaffeinated Coke if he really must have an alcoholic beverage immediately before bed. Can’t tell you how many times I’ve told him caffeine has no flavor. Finally 2 mos ago he ‘tried’ decaf Coke, golly gee, that was the end of his insomnia. I’m still attempting to get him to knock off spicy salsas he’s eating as he drinks his Bourbon. Many folks eat the equivalent of a large meal within an hour of going to bed. That practice also promotes insomnia.

  3. Barbara
    Durham, NC

    I am interested in the SEA BANDS. Where does one buy these and are there counterfeit ones of which to be aware?

    • Cid
      Clifton Park , NY

      Sea bands are available in drug stores, I have seen them in CVS. They are just fabric covered elastic bands with a plastic ‘nub’ that you position over your pulse point.

      So, no, I doubt there are any you have to be wary of. (Didn’t work for me for sleep, but my sister uses them for motion sickness in the car when she is not the driver and swears by them.)

  4. Claire
    Raleigh NC

    I suffered from insomnia for years, to the point that it was impacting my ability to function. After a sleep study found no medical problems, the doctor recommend Ambien. After several weeks, my sleep was only slightly improved but the side effects were numerous – memory problems, personality changes, sinus infections, etc.

    I discontinued the Ambien and went for a series of acupuncture treatments.
    The results were amazing and completely side effect free – except to my wallet since insurance would not cover any of the cost.

    That was 10 years ago. I still go for regularly scheduled acupuncture treatments. Many people are surprised when I tell them how relaxing the treatments are. If I’m having any health issues, my acupuncturist is my first contact and he often can provide relief.

    I think I’ll give the sea bands a try for those random sleepless nights.

  5. Ginger

    I tried the Sea-Bands over a year ago when I was working in a very stressful job because my overstimulated mind wouldn’t let me sleep. They worked! I told my sister about them because she was having the same problem & they worked for her as well.

  6. Lois

    Sea-Bands didn’t work for me!

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