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Sleep Disorders
Volume 2013, Article ID 327820, 11 pages
Research Article

The Effects of Acupuncture Treatment on Sleep Quality and on Emotional Measures among Individuals Living with Schizophrenia: A Pilot Study

1Psychiatric Department, Emek Medical Center, Afula, Israel
2Technion—Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel
3Department of Psychology and the Center for Psychobiological Research, Yezreel Academic College, Emek Yezreel 19300, Israel
4Mazra Mental Health Center, Akko, Israel

Received 23 March 2013; Revised 27 June 2013; Accepted 15 July 2013

Academic Editor: Michel M. Billiard

Copyright © 2013 Alon Reshef et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Purpose. To examine the effects of acupuncture on sleep quality and on emotional measures among patients with schizophrenia. Methods. Twenty patients with schizophrenia participated in the study. The study comprised a seven-day running-in no-treatment period, followed by an eight-week experimental period. During the experimental period, participants were treated with acupuncture twice a week. During the first week (no-treatment period) and the last week of the experimental period, participants filled out a broad spectrum of questionnaires and their sleep was continuously monitored by wrist actigraph. Results. A paired-sample t-test was conducted comparing objective and subjective sleep parameters manifested by participants before and after sequential acupuncture treatment. A significant effect of acupuncture treatment was observed for seven objective sleep variables: sleep onset latency, sleep percentage, mean activity level, wake time after sleep onset, mean number of wake episodes, mean wake episode and longest wake episode. However, no significant effects of acupuncture treatment were found for subjective sleep measures. Likewise, the results indicate that acupuncture treatment improved psychopathology levels and emotional measures, that is, depression level and anxiety level. Conclusions. Overall, the findings of this pilot study suggest that acupuncture has beneficial effects as a treatment for insomnia and psychopathology symptoms among patients with schizophrenia.