Clinicians undertaking a study in Porto Alegre, Brazil have found that acupuncture is effective for improving sleep quality and psychological distress in elderly patients with sleep problems. A total of 48 community-dwelling elderly patients were randomised to receive ten sessions of either true acupuncture or sham acupuncture. True acupuncture was found to be highly effective for improving subjective scores of sleep quality, depression and stress. The researchers noted that immune and neuropeptide markers commonly associated with stress and sleep impairment, were unaltered following treatment.
(Acupuncture for sleep quality, BDNF levels and immunosenescence: A randomized controlled study. Neuroscience Letters, 5 February 2015.)