I hope I’ll be able to get a copy of this article. If I do, I’ll post again on the details. Here are the money quotes: “Acupuncture may represent a unique avenue of treatment for poor sleep by virtue of its direct effects on peripheral nerves and muscles, which, in turn, modulate autonomic tone and central activation. In this review, we summarize both basic and clinical research indicating that acupuncture exerts profound influences via a wide variety of potential neural and/or hormonal mechanisms that have great relevance for the modulation of sleep and wakefulness.”
I would add that acupuncture is often helpful for a wide variety of psychological conditions because it provides that link between the physical and the mental through augmentation of the autonomic nervous system, hence decreasing stress and its related maladies.

(To read further about acupuncture, HRV, and my practice please click here.)

Autonomic activation in insomnia: the case for acupuncture.

Huang W, Kutner N, Bliwise DL. J Clin Sleep Med 2011;7(1):95-102.
Current conceptualizations of the biological basis for insomnia typically invoke central nervous system and/or autonomic nervous system arousal. Acupuncture may represent a unique avenue of treatment for poor sleep by virtue of its direct effects on peripheral nerves and muscles, which, in turn, modulate autonomic tone and central activation. In this review, we summarize both basic and clinical research indicating that acupuncture exerts profound influences via a wide variety of potential neural and/or hormonal mechanisms that have great relevance for the modulation of sleep and wakefulness. We illustrate principles of acupuncture intervention applied to cases of otherwise intractable insomnia that document successful application of this component of Traditional Chinese Medicine to the treatment of poor sleep. Our review indicates the necessity for further research in the relationship between the effects of acupuncture on insomnia and autonomic regulation, which might guide better selective use of this treatment modality for insomnia. CITATION: Huang W; Kutner N; Bliwise DL. Autonomic activation in insomnia: the case for acupuncture. J Clin Sleep Med 2011;7(1):95-102.