Acupuncture/ pressureProf. ErnstSleep (Insomnia)

Review of auricular acupuncture for insomnia

 Prof. Ernst and colleagues reviewed the effectiveness of acupuncture administered to the ear to treat sleeplessness.

First, the details.

  • Among 433 articles, 10 were worth reviewing.

And, the results.
Magnetic pellets auricular acupuncture (AA) vs placebo AA in 3 studies

  • Results suggest beneficial effects on sleep efficiency compared to placebo AA.

Needle AA vs placebo AA in 1 study

  • No effectiveness of AA.

Semen vaccariae (Wang bu liu xing) or magnetic pellet AA vs conventional drugs (estazolam or diazepam) in 4 studies.

  • Favorable effects for AA were found.
  • Info on semen vaccariae is here.

Thumbtack needle AA vs. no treatment in 2 studies

  • Beneficial effects of AA on a sleep score reported.

The bottom line?
Yes, there are some positive studies.

But the authors concluded, “because of the paucity and … poor quality of the data, … rigorously designed trials are warranted to confirm these results.”

8/31/08 09:19 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.