The Back-to-School event organized by the Upperroom Bible Church took place on September 2nd, from 11 am to 4 pm at 2025 West Fond du Lac Avenue. This gathering featured dedicated volunteers, including barbers and nail technicians, who provided haircuts for boys and nail painting for girls. Additionally, those who attended were offered tasty meals, and backpacks loaded with school materials were given out. The children and their parents showed deep appreciation for our donation. To add to the fun, they had a bouncy house for the kids to enjoy while they waited for their turn with the barbers and technicians.
How did this study work?
This study specifically looked at patients with depression who also suffered from insomnia. The researchers were interested in seeing whether electroacupuncture was a safe and effective treatment for patients with comorbid mental health and sleep disorders.
This study was a randomized clinical trial that compared groups of patients receiving the target intervention, electroacupuncture, with sham acupuncture and with standard care (no intervention). Standard care included guidance from a doctor to get regular exercise, eat a healthy diet, and manage their stress levels during the trial, as well as continuing to take any prescribed medications for sleep or depression.
This was the longest study to date to look at acupuncture to treat insomnia. Patients received electroacupuncture three times a week for eight weeks, for a total of 24 sessions. This was followed by a 24-week observational period to see how long the benefits of treatment would last, for a total study duration of 32 weeks.
The acupuncture administered in this study targeted the Governor vessel. According to the researchers, the Governor vessel “governs all yang meridians and helps regulate the balance of yin-yang in the body, which is closely related to brain functions”. Targeting this vessel can help to calm nerves and relax patients, improving their symptoms of depression.
What were the results?
Patients who received electroacupuncture experienced significant improvements to their sleep. Their sleep quality improved, they slept for longer, and they woke up fewer times during the night. These improvements persisted for the duration of the study, meaning that the effects of the acupuncture lasted for weeks after it had been administered.
Electroacupuncture also helped to improve symptoms of mental health disorders. Patients experienced reductions in the severity of insomnia, symptoms of depression, and symptoms of anxiety.
With regard to safety, there were no severe adverse events reported during the trial. The researchers conclude that electroacupuncture may be a safe treatment for patients with comorbid depression and insomnia.
What are the takeaways?
- Electroacupuncture is a safe and effective treatment to help patients with depression-related insomnia improve their quality of sleep.
- The benefits of electroacupuncture on sleep quality continue for over 20 weeks after treatment.
- Electroacupuncture can also help patients improve symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Yin X, Li W, Liang T, et al. Effect of Electroacupuncture on Insomnia in Patients With Depression: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Netw Open. 2022;5(7):e2220563.