acupunctureManIn China, acupuncture is commonly used to treat insomnia.

Researchers from Beijing University of Chinese Medicine reviewed the evidence.

First, the details.

  • Data from 46 studies of 3811 patients were reviewed and combined for a meta-analysis.

And, the results.

  • There was a significant benefit of acupuncture vs no treatment and sham acupressure.
  • Acupuncture was significantly better than drug treatment for total sleep duration — increased for greater than 3 hours.
  • There was no difference between acupuncture and medications in average sleep duration.
  • Acupuncture plus medications showed a significantly better effect vs medications alone on total sleep duration.
  • Acupuncture plus herbs was significantly better than herbs alone on increasing sleep rates.
  • There were no serious adverse effects related to acupuncture.

The bottom line?
There appear to be benefits with acupuncture. However, the researchers acknowledge that better studies are needed.

11/21/09 22:41 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.