sea-bands for motion sickness, better than sleeping pills, acupressure wrist bands

If you sleep well, you may not realize how lucky you are. Those who have difficulty sleeping are faced with a tough dilemma. Sleep deprivation is bad for your health, as many studies have shown. On the other hand, people who take sleeping pills are susceptible to a range of side effects, from heartburn to dementia. Could inexpensive acupressure wrist bands help solve this problem and offer sleep without side effects?

Acupressure Wrist Bands for Insomnia:

Q. I read in your column about a mother who purchased Sea-Bands for her son who had trouble sleeping. These elastic wrist bands are sold to counteract nausea and motion sickness, but they helped her son sleep.
Having had trouble sleeping myself, I bought a pair of Sea-Bands and tried them out. They worked the first night and have kept on working.

Of course, I know this quick remedy won’t work for all insomniacs. I told my doctor about it and he shrugged and said nothing. But I hope that others will try it and benefit.

A. Sea-Bands are elastic wrist bands with an embedded plastic button that is supposed to be placed over an acupressure point. For getting to sleep, the point is called the Inner Gate. It is located between the two tendons on the inner side of the wrist, about three finger widths from the crease where the hand meets the wrist.

Studies of Acupressure Wrist Bands:

A review of four studies on acupressure suggests that this technique can improve sleep for some people (Sleep Medicine Reviews, Feb. 2018). The acupressure wrist bands are cheap and readily accessible. As a result, scientists may not have the incentive or funding to study their effectiveness further. Consequently, you may need to do your own research.

To find out if they work for you, you might need to do an “N of 1” study. That’s a trial in which you try them out and attempt to keep other variables the same as when you are not wearing acupressure wrist bands. If you do the experiment, please let us know in the comments below what results you get.

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  1. Mary
    Milton, WA
    Reply

    They work for me now. At first I was putting them in the wrong spot, then started moving them around until I found the right spot and now they work every night.

  2. Roy
    Al
    Reply

    where do you get these bands?

    • Ginny
      Raleigh
      Reply

      Any pharmacy has them.

  3. Jean
    IL
    Reply

    The acupressure bands did not work for me. If anything, the pressure made it harder to get to sleep.

    I hope this does not deter others from trying these inexpensive bands.

  4. Kate
    USA
    Reply

    I have used these bands since reading about them here two or three years ago, and they really seem to help. I have no trouble at all going to sleep, but usually wake up sometime in the middle of the night. That’s when I put the bands on, and most of the time I am asleep again in five or ten minutes. Also used them for seasickness on a ship. Great little product.

  5. mary 3
    Nevada
    Reply

    I know nothing, but would think worn before bed for some time perhaps? Then through the night?
    Wearing all day does not sound reasonable.
    Good luck

  6. Dr. Richard
    Calabria, Italy
    Reply

    This is a great point for calming the nerves and is also used on flights for those suffering from motion sickness. Clearly with no contraindications, I support the use of the points. Unfortunately, the doctor was not interested, and that is why we support the People’s Pharmacy., even from Tropea, Calabria, Italy. And we can also just stimulate this point gently or apply some vicks vapor rub to the point for a good effect as well.

  7. Antoinette
    New York
    Reply

    Hello.
    I too have issues falling and staying asleep! I tried the bands! I found they were of no help what so ever! But thank you for providing other options other than medications.

  8. Connie
    Virginia
    Reply

    I’ve used these bands (two different sets) for motion sickness in cars as well as airplanes, and they do work. I didn’t like the side effects of pills and really needed relief, especially while flying. You do have to put the bands on correctly, but after that you can forget about them and enjoy your travel. I would recommend them for everyone.

  9. Pat
    NC
    Reply

    I used bands on both wrists and at first it was WONDERFUL — I’d sleep more hours, through the night without waking, woke up refreshed, for the first time in several years. Thought it was a miracle!

    But over time (months) they became less effective and no longer gave me the sleep benefit. I wondered if the acupressure point got “worn out” from the over-use?

    So now I only use them, and on one wrist, periodically — maybe once a week — and I alternate arms so that I’m only using it every other week or so. And I DO get the sleep benefit . I’m just sorry I can’t do it all the time!

    • Marilyn
      GA
      Reply

      Did you buy new ones to see if the old ones were worn out??? To me, maybe they did get worn out so get new ones. It’s not a big investment to get good sleep.

  10. Linda K
    Florida
    Reply

    Will try the bands. I have had some success with Instasleep, an OTC melt from some CVS stores. I try not taking Temazapem prescription drug

  11. Joanna
    FL.
    Reply

    when do you wear the band just before bed? or all day

    • Patty
      Texas
      Reply

      I think most folks just wear them to bed, but they can be worn during the day for motion sickness as well. You don’t need to buy the Sea Band brand. There are many inexpensive knock-offs around. I got multiple pairs for the same price.

      The band mimics what was used for ages by tying a pebble or dried bean tightly against your wrist. Be sure to look online for instructions for exact placement. There is an exact spot on the wrist where it goes, and I have to look it up each time.

      Beware that the bands are quite tight in order to keep the button pressed into the right spot. Some people find them very uncomfortable, but they are cheap enough to try out. You could actually make them yourself from elastic and a dried bean if you sew.

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