Since insomnia is a very heterogeneous condition with varying etiology and severity, it is likely that acupuncture has different effects on different subgroups of patients. This review by Huang and colleagues described the TCM diagnosis for sleep disorders and acupuncture treatments, which are considered relevant to clinical practice. Clinical observation of neurotransmitter regulation in patients with sleep disorders, differentiated as a yang deficiency pattern, treated with warm acupuncture and earspot adhesive therapy, Europe PMC. In addition, ear acupuncture in the form of ear beads or seeds can also be used for people with sleep disorders.
A study of 18 adults with anxiety found that acupuncture increased melatonin secretion and improved overall sleep.
How long does it take for acupuncture to work for sleep disorders?
Acupuncture has often been used to treat sleep disorders, but it is unclear whether it has therapeutic effectiveness for short-duration sleep disorders. A meta-analysis of 29 well-conducted studies involving 18,000 patients, for example, found that acupuncture was an effective treatment for chronic pain. The doctors involved found that the results were more than just a placebo effect. However, a growing number of randomized, controlled trials (the gold standard of research) have found that acupuncture may have some scientific validity. Significant sleep improvements were reported following acupuncture treatments both in a large case series of 500 people and in a smaller randomized, controlled trial involving 40 patients with schizophrenia.
In a randomized, controlled trial of 70 menopausal women who underwent acupuncture for 6 weeks, remarkable improvements were found in several symptoms, including hot flashes, night sweats, emotional well-being, and physical symptoms.