The time-course of the structure of nocturnal sleep in normal subjects in conditions of a single sleep deprivation (acute sleep deprivation) and in neurotic patients with chronic sleep deprivation has been studied. The efficacy of acupuncture under different conditions is analyzed. The results obtained suggest a differential nature of the acupuncture effect in conditions of acute and chronic sleep deprivation. In acute sleep deprivation in normal subjects electrical acupuncture activates both synchronizing and desynchronizing mechanisms of the cerebral nonspecific systems. In chronic disturbances of sleep associated with neuroses acupuncture activates the synchronizing systems and inhibits the cerebral deactivating systems. Preventive acupuncture is recommended as a method increasing the activity of people working on night shifts (operators, traffic controllers, etc.).