Acupuncture for Insomnia & Sleep Disorders

Acupuncture for Insomnia & Sleep Disorders.

Insomnia symptoms include difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, falling back asleep or waking up unusually early. Vivid dreaming, frequent night-time urination and night sweating also affects a person's quality of sleep.

Other common sleep disorders include restless legs syndrome, teeth grinding, loud snoring and obstructive sleep apnoea. Young children are commonly troubled by bed-wetting.

It can help to look into the quality of your sleep if you often wake up with a foggy head and struggle to get going in the mornings.

What is our clinical experience?

Based on feedback collected from over 880 initial appointments for Insomnia & Sleep Disorders, 79% of our patients reported improved quality of life after their first 4 appointments. See our detailed benchmarking statistics.

Quality of Life
Refer Family &

What does the research say?

The following insights are obtained from systematic reviews and analysis of clinical trials investigating the efficacy of Chinese medicine and acupuncture for insomnia & sleep disorders.

Consult with our practitioners for personalised care and advice.

Although well-conducted clinical research can help members of the public to make better-informed decisions about their healthcare, we cannot claim that any particular treatment may be effective for any individual person.

When you consult with our Chinese medicine practitioners, you'll receive personalised advice and treatment based on your symptoms and Chinese medicine diagnosis.

Scientific References

Browse our collection of scientific clinical research on acupuncture for insomnia & sleep disorders.

It includes recent and reputable papers published by peer-reviewed journals within the last 10 years.

Sleep Medicine Clinics

2023, Mar

Acupuncture as an Adjunct Treatment to Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia
Sleep Medicine Clinics

The study concludes that there is growing evidence supporting the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating insomnia and comorbid conditions, and further research is needed to explore its potential as an adjunct to CBT-I.

Kutana S, Mao JJ, Garland SN Full Article


2022, Jan 14

Can acupuncture improve sleep quality and anxiety among women during perimenopause?

This study will provide new evidence on the effectiveness and safety of acupuncture for the treatment of insomnia, anxiety, and depression in perimenopausal women, and provide additional options for clinicians and patients to improve insomnia and anxiety.

Ping Y, Liang C, Fan X, Zhang L, Ying D, Wang Z Full Article

Frontiers in Psychiatry

2022, Apr 15

The Role of Acupuncture in the Management of Insomnia as a Major or Residual Symptom Among Patients With Active or Previous Depression: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Frontiers in Psychiatry

There is a low to moderate level of evidence supporting acupuncture as a safe and effective remedy alternative to or adjuvant to conventional pharmacotherapy (antidepressant and/or hypnotic) in improving insomnia and other depression symptoms among patients with active depression. Furthermore, the patients' complaint of disrupted sleep continuity is most likely to benefit from acupuncture. The benefit of acupuncture on residual insomnia associated with previous or partially remitted depression is limited. Future acupuncture studies need to consider applying optimal dosage and addressing deficiencies in trial quality.

Zhao FY, Kennedy GA, Spencer SJ, Conduit R, Zhang WJ, Fu QQ, Zheng Z Full Article

Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine

2021, May 24

Efficacy and Safety of Scalp Acupuncture for Insomnia: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Scalp acupuncture is effective and safe in the treatment of insomnia, which is worthy of clinical application. However, due to the limited number of included literature, the methodology of some studies is slightly low and the quality of literature is slightly poor. In the future, we need to design rigorous, large sample, multiple center randomized controlled study to further verify the conclusion of this study.

Fu-gui Liu, Ai-hua Tan, Chao-qun Peng, Yun-xia Tan, Ming-chao Yao Full Article

Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience

2021, Aug 13

Acupuncture Reduced the Risk for Insomnia in Stroke Patients: A Propensity-Score Matched Cohort Study
Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience

Acupuncture treatment reduced the risk of insomnia in stroke patients. Future research be conducted with increased sample sizes and further elaboration on the specific acupuncture protocols that were used.

Qiu X, Han NS, Yao JX, Yu FR, Lin YY, Zhuang X Full Article

Annals of Palliative Medicine

2020, Jan

Placebo effect of acupuncture on insomnia: a systematic review and meta-analysis
Annals of Palliative Medicine

Compared to the sham groups, acupuncture significantly decreased the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) score. In addition, a significant difference was detected in the change of Insomnia Severity Index (ISI) scores between acupuncture and sham acupuncture. The authors concluded that acupuncture treatment of insomnia is efficacious, not because of its placebo effect.

Liu C, Xi H, Wu W, Wang X, Qin S, Zhao Y, Zheng S, Wan Q, Xu L. Full Article

Nature and Science of Sleep

2020, Dec 10

Efficacy and Safety of Electroacupuncture for Insomnia Disorder: A Multicenter, Randomized, Assessor-Blinded, Controlled Trial
Nature and Science of Sleep

Ten sessions of electroacupuncture can improve the sleep quality of patients with insomnia without serious adverse effects. Thus, it can be recommended as an effective, safe, and well-tolerated intervention.

Lee B, Kim BK, Kim HJ, Jung IC, Kim AR, Park HJ, Kwon OJ, Lee JH, Kim JH. Full Article

Integrative Cancer Therapies

2020, Jan

Comparative Effectiveness of Cheonwangbosimdan (Tian Wang Bu Xin Dan) Versus Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia in Cancer Patients: A Randomized, Controlled, Open-Label, Parallel-Group, Pilot Trial
Integrative Cancer Therapies

There is no difference between treatment and control groups, but both groups showed tendency to alleviate cancer insomnia symptoms. However, treatment group score was highly lowered than control group score. The study can contribute to more attentive care for insomnia in cancer patients.

Moon SY, Jerng UM, Kwon OJ, Jung SY, Lee JY, Yoon SW, Shin WC, Byun JI, Lee JH Full Article

Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine

2019, Jun 24

Acupuncture for Chronic Pain-Related Insomnia: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Acupuncture therapy is an effective and safe treatment for CPRI, and this treatment can be recommended for the management of patients with CPRI. Due to the low quality and small sample size of the included studies, more rigorously designed RCTs with high quality and large sample size are recommended in future.

Fushui Liu, Jianyu You, Qi Li, Ting Fang, Mei Chen, Nana Tang, Xiaojun Yan Full Article


2018, Feb 23

Acupuncture for adults with overactive bladder: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

The combined results showed that electroacupuncture (EA) may be more effective than sham electroacupuncture (sham EA) in improving the 24-hour nocturia episodes and EA may enhance tolterodine for relieving voiding symptoms and enhancing patients’ quality of life. Acupuncture might have effect in decreasing the number of micturition episodes, incontinence episodes, and nocturia episodes.

Zhao Y, Zhou J, Mo Q, Wang Y, Yu J, Liu Z. Full Article

Journal of Physics Conference Series

2017, Aug 30

The effect of acupuncture treatment for insomnia in chronic hemodialysis patients
Journal of Physics Conference Series

Acupuncture treatment effectively improved the quality of sleep and the quality of life for these chronic hemodialysis patients.

J A Widjaja, C Simadibrata, A Srilestari, M B H Marbun Full Article

Sleep Medicine Reviews

2017, Jun 19

Complementary and alternative therapies for restless legs syndrome: An evidence-based systematic review
Sleep Medicine Reviews

The severity of primary RLS symptoms can be significantly ameliorated by exercise training, transcutaneous spinal direct current stimulation, pneumatic compression devices, light therapy, repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, and acupuncture.

Xu XM, Liu Y, Jia SY, Dong MX, Cao D, Wei YD. Full Article

BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies

2016, Jul 19

Acupuncture for insomnia after stroke: a systematic review and meta-analysis
BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies

This clinical article showed high efficacy of acupuncture in treating insomnia post-stroke. Patients mainly experienced hyperactivities of sympathetic nervous system which resulted in disturb sleep patterns. Acupuncture reduced other post-stroke insomnia symptoms such as anxiety, depression and side effects from antipsychotic drugs. It was effective improving overall quality of sleep and lifestyle.

Lee SH, Lim SM Full Article

Sleep Medicine

2015, Dec

Updated clinical evidence of Chinese herbal medicine for insomnia: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials
Sleep Medicine

Overall, oral CHM used as a monotherapy or as an adjunct to conventional therapies appears safe, and it may improve subjective sleep in people with insomnia. However, the typical effect of CHM for insomnia cannot be determined due to heterogeneity. Further study focusing on individual CHM formula for insomnia is needed. The development of a comparable placebo is also needed to improve the successful blinding in RCTs.

Xiaojia Ni, Johannah Linda Shergis, Xinfeng Guo, Anthony Lin Zhang, Yan Li, Chuanjian Lu, Charlie Changli Xue Full Article

International Review of Neurobiology

2013, Jan

Acupuncture for the treatment of insomnia
International Review of Neurobiology

A number of studies have demonstrated that acupuncture may modulate a wide range of neuroendocrinological factors following stimulation of acupoints. Evidence has suggested that the clinical efficacy of acupuncture in treatment of insomnia is potentially mediated by a variety of neurotransmitters including norepinephrine, melatonin, gamma-aminobutyric acid, and β-endorphin.

Kaicun Zhao Full Article

The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine

2009, Nov

Acupuncture for Treatment of Insomnia: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials
The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine Society for Acupuncture Research

Acupuncture appears to be effective in treatment of insomnia. Meta-analyses showed a beneficial effect of acupuncture compared with no treatment and real acupressure compared with sham acupressure on total scores of Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index. Acupuncture was superior to medications regarding the number of patients with total sleep duration increased for >3 hours. Acupuncture plus medications showed better effect than medications alone on total sleep duration. Similarly, acupuncture plus herbs was significantly better than herbs alone on increase of sleep rates. There were no serious adverse effects with related to acupuncture treatment in the included trials.

Cao H, Pan X, Li H, Liu J. Full Article

Yin Tang
“It is by virtue of the twelve channels that human life exists, that disease arises, that human beings can be treated and illness cured. The twelve channels are where beginners start and masters end.” The Classic of Acupuncture
Circa 1st Century BCE