Staying alert during class: Self-applied acupressure may reduce sleepiness

p self-administered relaxation for one day, then stimulation for days two and three. Sleepiness was assessed by the validated Stanford Sleepiness Scale, and students rated their levels of sleepiness in the morning,before class began and in the late afternoon, at the conclusion of class. Acupressure was administered mid-day during the lunch period.

The fact that the stimulation group had significantly less fatigue than the other group has interesting implications for future studies of acupressure, says Harris, who himself is a trained acupuncturist.

"The idea that acupressure can have effects on human alertness needs more study, including research that can examine the scope of influence acupressure can have on alertness and fatigue," Harris says. "Ideally, research in the future will help us determine whether acupressure also can have an impact on performance in the classroom as well."

Brenda Gillespie, Ph.D., of the Course on Clinical Research Design and Statistical Analysis at the U-M School of Public Health, was the senior author. In addition to Harris and Gillespie, authors on the study were Joanne Jeter, M.D., Paul Chan, M.D., Peter Higgins, M.D., Ph.D., Feng-Ming Kong, M.D., Reza Fazel, M.D., and Candace Bramson, M.D., all of the Course on Clinical Research Design and Statistical Analysis at the U-M School of Public Health; and Cohort 11 of the U-M Clinical Research Design and Statistical Analysis Program.


Contact: Katie Gazella
University of Michigan Health System

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