Improving Sleep Quality
in Older Adults with Moderate Sleep Complaints: A Randomized Controlled Trial
of Tai Chi Chih
Michael R. Irwin, MD, Richard Olmstead, PhD, and Sarosh J. Motivala, PhD
University of California, Los Angeles
– Cousins Center
for Psychoneuroimmunology, Los Angeles, California
correspondence to: Michael R. Irwin, MD,Cousins
Center for Psychoneuroimmunology, UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience, 300 UCLA Medical Plaza,
Room 3130, Los Angeles, CA 90095-7076, Email: email@example.com
Sleep. 2008 July 1; 31(7): 1001–1008.
To determine the efficacy of a novel behavioral
intervention, Tai Chi Chih, to promote sleep quality
in older adults with moderate sleep complaints.
Randomized controlled trial with 16
weeks of teaching followed by practice and assessment 9 weeks later. The main outcome measure was sleep
quality, as assessed by the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI).
General community at 2 sites in the US
between 2001 and 2005.
Volunteer sample of 112 healthy
older adults, aged 59 to 86 years.
Random allocation to Tai Chi Chih or health education for 25 weeks.
Among adults with moderate sleep complaints, as defined by
PSQI global score of 5 or greater, subjects in the Tai
Chi Chih condition were more likely to achieve a
treatment response, as defined by PSQI less than 5, compared to those in health
education (P < 0.05). Subjects in the Tai Chi Chih
condition with poor sleep quality also showed significant improvements in PSQI
global score (P < 0.001) as well as in the sleep parameters of rated sleep
quality (P < 0.05), habitual sleep efficiency (P < 0.05), sleep duration
(P < 0.01), and sleep disturbance (P < 0.01).
Tai Chi Chih can be considered a
useful nonpharmacologic approach to improve sleep
quality in older adults with moderate complaints and, thereby, has the
potential to ameliorate sleep complaints possibly before syndromal