Acupuncture can help reduce sleep disturbances in perimenopausal and postmenopausal women, according to a new systematic review and meta-analysis of 31 randomized controlled trials. The study is published online in Obstetrics & Gynecology. Many of the clinical trials in the meta-analysis showed an acupuncture-related increase in serum estradiol levels. The researchers suggest that estradiol’s effect of lowering core body temperature may be part of the physiological mechanism of action for promoting sleep.

Researchers conclude that “Acupuncture is associated with a significant reduction in sleep disturbances in women experiencing menopause-related sleep disturbances.” They recommend that “acupuncture should be adopted as part of a multimodal approach for improving sleep disturbances in perimenopausal and postmenopausal women.”