Need a little help falling asleep?

[what I had for breakfast today: a hard-boiled egg, jasmine rice, sauerkraut and nutritional yeast.]

Sometimes it's just really, really hard to turn your mind off and drift into a deep, restful sleep. Here are some easy-to-follow breathing and acupressure recommendations that I make to patients struggling with insomnia. 

First of all, you should do a breathing exercise while pressing these points. I'd suggest 4-7-8 breathing--inhaling for a count of 4, holding your breath for a count of 7, and exhaling for a count of 8. If this feels difficult, try speeding up the count. The speed isn't important; keeping the ratio of 4:7:8 is. If it's still difficult, switch to just inhaling for 4 and exhaling for 8, skipping holding your breath.

Hold each of these three points on each side of the body, in the order written here, for one to two minutes while doing the 4-7-8 breathing exercise. 

-Nei Guan: Make a fist and locate the two parallel tendons that pop up on the underside (palm side) of your wrist. Relax your hand, and locate the point between those two tendons, two fingers' width below the wrist crease. Here's an image

-San Yin Jiao: Find the tip of your ankle bone on the inside aspect of your leg. Locate the point three fingers' width above the tip of the ankle bone, just behind the tibia (shin bone). Here's an image. 

-Yong Quan: On the very bottom of your foot, this point is at the deepest point of the "cup" your foot makes when you point your toes. Here's an image

 

Now go to sleep, already.