A preliminary study published in the “Journal Neuropsychiatry Clinical Neuroscience” 2004 illustrated that acupuncture increases nocturnal melatonin secretion, reducing insomnia and anxiety.
The study involved 18 anxious adult subjects who complained of insomnia. Following 5 weeks of treatment of acupuncture a significant (p = 0.002) nocturnal increase in endogenous melatonin secretion (as measured in urine) and significant improvements in polysomnographic measures of sleep onset latency (p = 0.003), arousal index (p = 0.001), total sleep time (p = 0.001), and sleep efficiency (p = 0.002) was identified. Significant reductions in state (p = 0.049) and trait (p = 0.004) anxiety scores were also found. These objective findings are consistent with clinical reports of acupuncture’s relaxant effects. The author concluded that acupuncture treatment may be of value for some categories of anxious patients with insomnia.