The aim of the study was to objectively examine how sleep patterns were affected in a short- and long-term perspective after auricular acupuncture (AA) and cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-i). Sixty participants with insomnia disorders (men/women 9/51; mean age of 60.5 years, (SD 9.4)), were randomized to group treatment with AA or CBT-i. Actigraphy recordings were made at baseline, post-treatment and 6-month follow-up. The CBT-i group reduced their time in bed, their actual sleeping time, their sleep latency and their actual time awake. The AA group slept longer, increased their time in bed and decreased their sleep latency post-treatment. The between-groups results differed in wake-up time, rising, time in bed, actual sleep time and actual wake time. The differences were not maintained six months later. In accordance with previous findings the results support the notion that the objective sleep time does not necessarily affect the subjective perception of insomnia.