Homeopathy for insomnia: a systematic review of research evidence

Sleep Med Rev. 2010 Oct;14(5):329-37. doi: 10.1016/j.smrv.2009.11.005. Epub 2010 Mar 11.


Background: Insomnia is a common problem which impacts on quality of life. Current management includes psychological and behavioural therapies and/or pharmacological treatments.

Objective: To systematically review research evidence for effectiveness of homeopathy in the management of insomnia.

Methods: Comprehensive searches of biomedical databases (MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, Cochrane library, Science Citation Index), homeopathy-specific and complementary medicine-specific databases were conducted.

Results: (A) Homeopathic medicines: four randomised controlled trials (RCTs) compared homeopathic medicines to placebo. All involved small patient numbers and were of low methodological quality. None demonstrated a statistically significant difference in outcomes between groups, although two showed a trend favouring homeopathic medicines and three demonstrated significant improvements from baseline in both groups. A cohort study reported significant improvements from baseline. (B) Treatment by a homeopath: No randomised controlled trials of treatment by a homeopath were identified. One cohort study, three case series and over 2600 case studies were identified.

Conclusions: The limited evidence available does not demonstrate a statistically significant effect of homeopathic medicines for insomnia treatment. Existing RCTs were of poor quality and were likely to have been underpowered. Well-conducted studies of homeopathic medicines and treatment by a homeopath are required to examine the clinical and cost effectiveness of homeopathy for insomnia.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Homeopathy* / adverse effects
  • Homeopathy* / methods
  • Humans
  • Materia Medica / therapeutic use
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / therapy*


  • Materia Medica