What Are the 3 Pressure Points For Sleep That Really Work?

Sometimes you need to get your engine started.

People often have a cup of coffee or an energy drink for that.

A few quick push-ups or some jumping jacks can work for that too.

But sometimes, however, you need to turn your engine off.

Forget sleeping pills—Heart 7 (HT7) and Gallbladder 20 (GB20) are two handy acupressure points to activate when you want to sleep.

An acupressure point is the same thing as an acupuncture point, except that you’re not going to put a needle into it. You’re going to activate it by applying pressure. Acupressure points are also sometimes called pressure points.

These pressure points aren’t to be confused with pressure points like in the groin and armpits that one would press to control hemorrhaging either.

You don’t need to see an acupuncturist for these, either. You can do this treatment for yourself.

How to find the sleep pressure points

Heart 7 is illustrated above in the picture above this post. It’s located on both your left and right wrists. Massage the area roughly underneath the pinkie by the wrist crease on either side for 30 seconds to a minute to activate.

Among people who study acupuncture, these are widely known, well-studied points.

Like other points, they have their unique nicknames. Heart 7 is “Spirit Gate.” Gallbladder 20 is “Feng Chi,” which translates from Chinese to “Wind Pool.”

Gallbladder 20 is illustrated below. It’s often manipulated during relaxing neck massages. To use Gallbladder 20, you must activate the points on either side of the spine at the same time, and that’s why it counts as only one point.

This is how to activate pressure point Gallbladder 20. Work the area for 30-60 seconds before lying down as part of your nighttime ritual.

Studies on Heart 7

In a 2009 study, activation of Heart 7 resulted in improved sleep in 79 percent of cancer patients who had difficulties with insomnia during controlled trials. For people unaffected by cancer, the rate was 60 percent. Admittedly, it’s not a perfect success rate, but if that were a sleep medication without any side effects, Western doctors would collectively be writing millions of prescriptions.

This is a sleep secret, probably nobody has told you, and it’s simple.

The study used a wristband with a rigid plastic bead for consistency in pressure. The band is an insomnia aid called “H7 Insomnia Control.” While it worked well in the study, many buyers on Amazon panned it. People don’t like sleeping with a rigid, plastic bead poking into their wrists. It is no longer for sale, though you can buy something similar on Etsy.

Don’t let reports of their dissatisfaction dissuade you. There might be some problems when people try putting such a band on, and they’re not given a demonstration or tend to put it on too tight. It’s hard to tell. Acupressure doesn’t have to be constricting to be effective. It merely needs to be applied firmly enough to activate the point—and understanding how firm that is precisely is best done through a class, demonstration, or patient trial and error.

You don’t need to wear a bracelet with a hard, plastic ball poking into a point of your wrist. You can gently apply pressure on the points for 30 seconds to a minute each. Do that while thinking of peaceful, happy, restful thoughts.

Or don’t think of peaceful, restful, happy thoughts. Think of the people you hate, and think of your bills and other upsetting things like people yelling at you. And so on.

Put these points to the test.

Or not. Try the points and think of restful thoughts if you want to get to sleep. Inhale and exhale deeply. Breath control is part of the equation.

Try this as a part of a sleep routine that can include things like brainwave entrainment and getting set up to capture memories of your dreams.

If you’re reading and practicing this somewhere where you’ve got to stay vigilant, don’t apply pressure to Heart 7. Gallbladder 20 is fine, though it may cause you to dissipate some tension in your neck.

Can you use these pressure points for any other problems?

Heart 7 is also good for dealing with anxiety and public speaking jitters.

Gallbladder 20 is good for dealing with the effects of headaches, runny noses, and colds, and it has a relaxing impact on the nervous system.

Add them together and get an incredible acupressure treatment combo that promotes sleep. This is especially helpful if you wake up during the night and want to return to sleep.


James Cobb, RN, MSN, is an emergency department nurse and the founder of the Dream Recovery System. His goal is to provide his readers with simple, actionable ways to improve their health and maximize their quality of life. 


We use some affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission. This has no effect on our opinions. 

Article updated April 22, 2021.


There's gold (figurative) in your dreams.
Join our list today.