In a new study, the largest of its kind to date, researchers compared the effectiveness of acupuncture and cognitive behavioral therapy (using sleep restriction, stimulus control, cognitive restructuring, relaxation training, and education) for the management of insomnia in a group of 160 cancer survivors. Both reduced the severity of the insomnia over 20 weeks, and while cognitive behavioral therapy was more effective overall, acupuncture was more effective for pain at the end of treatment. These findings suggest that acupuncture is a viable option for those who do not want or cannot use cognitive behavioral therapy, particularly for patients suffering from both pain and insomnia.
Reference: Garland SN, Xie SX, DuHamel K, Bao T, Li Q, Barg FK, Song S, Kantoff P, Gehrman P, Mao JJ. Acupuncture Versus Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia in Cancer Survivors: A Randomized Clinical Trial. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2019 Apr 9. pii: djz050. doi: 10.1093/jnci/djz050.