The effect of auricular acupressure on sleep in older adults with sleep disorders

Ju Hee Lee, Hyojung Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of auricular acupressure on sleep in older adults with sleep disorders. Methods: This was a randomized, single-blind, sham-controlled study. The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and Fitbit Charge HRTM helped assess subjective sleep quality and objective sleep quantity, respectively. In addition, melatonin levels were measured. The participants aged over 65 years were randomly assigned to the experimental group (n=26) and sham control group (n=25). PSQI, sleep quantity, and melatonin were measured before and 6 weeks after the experiment. In the experimental group, 4 (shenmen, heart, anterior lobe, occiput) and 4 (helix 1,2,3,4) areas were pressed 4 times a day for 6 weeks. Results: The difference of PSQI scores (t=-1.19, p=.239) and melatonin levels (Z=0.53, p=.598) between the experimental and sham control groups were not statistically significant. Light sleep time (F=4.71, p=.017), deep sleep time (F=15.11, p<.001), and rapid eye movement time (F=12.07, p<.001) of the experimental group showed a significant decline over time compared with the sham control group. Conclusion: These results demonstrate that auricular therapy is an effective intervention to improve the quantity of sleep in older adults with sleep disorders. Therefore, it is important to develop strategies to encourage pressure therapy to improve older adults’ quality and quantity of sleep.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-128
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Korean Gerontological Nursing
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This article is based on a part of the first author's doctoral dissertation from Ewha Womans University.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Korean Gerontological Nursing Society.


  • Acupressure
  • Aged
  • Melatonin
  • Sleep


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