TikTok is hack central: The tag #hack has more than 44B views on the video-sharing platform. One of the most popular subsections of the genre is sleep hacks (the tag #sleephack has nearly 123M views, with related tags racking up views in the multi-millions as well). Previously viral tricks have included keeping your bedroom chilly, sipping chamomile tea, counting your breaths, and eating a banana before bed. Recently, however, a wrist rubbing technique has been going viral — and it happens to be a pressure point for sleep that stems from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
Popularized by users like @youngeryoudoc, the hack claims that if you rub the inner part of your wrist in circular motions for a few minutes, you’ll be out like a light. His video currently has 240K views and 24K likes, and its comment section is filled with users reporting back, saying the hack worked like a charm. In the world of TikTok, comments like these are basically case studies.
So, why does this massage technique work? Is it biological, or just another meditative refocusing technique? According to Dr. Shari Auth, chief healing officer and co-founder of WTHN, an acupuncture clinic in New York City that relies on TCM to promote healing and stress relief, the spot on the wrist is actually one of several pressure points for sleep. “There are four acupressure points starting at the pinky side of the wrist crease and moving up the inner forearm,” she explains, noting that they’re called Heart 4, 5, 6, and 7 and are commonly used to calm the mind and alleviate stress — all by merely massaging them. “They are good for insomnia and are excellent to rub at bedtime,” adds Auth. “These points are commonly used by acupuncturists to treat sleep, palpitations, and mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.”
Intrigued? Read on for more info on the pressure point sleep hack so you can try it for yourself.
Where Is The Heart 7 Point?
The Heart 7 pressure point is the one you’re seeing all over TikTok, and it’s located in the crease of your wrist, in line with the space between your ring and pinky fingers. In ancient Chinese medicine, this pressure point is called the “shenmen,” which translates to “spirit gate.” According to Gudrun Snyder, founder of Moon Rabbit Acupuncture, pressing on Heart 7 can calm your entire system, making it great to massage before bedtime. “This wrist rubbing hack can be a very effective way to treat your insomnia without the use of needles, based on thousands of years of Traditional Chinese Medicine,” she says.
How To Try The Viral Wrist Rubbing Sleep Hack
Lay down, get comfortable, turn down the lights, and get ready for sleep. Once you’re comfortable and relaxed, take two fingers and gently rub the inner part of your wrist in circular motions. You’ll start to feel yourself relax, and hopefully, doze off into a restful night’s sleep.
If this hack doesn’t quite do the trick, TCM offers a multitude of solutions for better shuteye. Auth recommends tools like acupressure mats and herbal supplements. “Try laying down on an acupressure mat for 15 min before bed — this will help to calm the nervous system, as the mat has gentle stimulators that activate points across the body, which foster deep relaxation to help you get a deeper, more restful sleep,” she explains.
Everyone’s sleep is different, but in the fight against insomnia, everyone shares one common enemy: the screen. So test your viral sleep hacks and Headspace meditations, but whatever you do, don’t get lost in the scroll.