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Although conventional non-pharmacological and pharmacological treatments for insomnia are effective in many people, alternative therapies such as acupuncture are still widely practiced. Acupuncture is mainly evaluated in observational and uncontrolled studies, and randomised controlled trials are scarce and of poor methodological quality. This review was conducted to examine the effectiveness of acupuncture in treating insomnia. Seven studies were eligible for inclusion in the review, involving 590 participants. The studies were of low methodological quality and were diverse in the types of participant, acupuncture treatments and sleep outcome measures used, which limited the ability to pool the findings and draw conclusions. Currently there is a lack of high quality clinical evidence supporting the treatment of people with insomnia using acupuncture. More rigorous studies are needed to assess the efficacy and safety of various forms of acupuncture for treating people with insomnia. —Cochrane April 2009




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