Tai Chi and Sleep Quality in Adults
May 18, 2014 -
Physical activity and exercise appear to improve sleep
quality. However, the quantitative effects of Tai Chi on sleep quality in adult
population have rarely been examined. Researchers from Tufts Medical Center,
University of Massachusetts and University of Wisconsin
conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis evaluating the effects of Tai
Chi on sleep quality in healthy adults and disease populations.
Medline, Cochrane central databases, and review of
references were searched through July 31, 2013. English language studies of all
designs evaluating Tai Chi in adults reporting sleep outcomes were examined.
Data was extracted and verified by 2 reviewers. Extracted information included
study setting and design, population characteristics, type and duration of
intervention, outcome, risk of bias and main results. Random effect models
meta-analysis was used to assess the magnitude of treatment effect when at least
3 trials reported the same sleep outcome.
Eleven studies (9 randomized and 2 non-randomized
trials) totaling 994 subjects published between 2004 and 2012 were identified.
All studies except one reported Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index. Nine randomized
trials reported that Tai Chi practice of 1.5 to 3 hour each week for a duration
of 6 to 24 weeks significantly improved sleep quality, in community-dwelling
healthy participants and in patients with chronic conditions. Improvement in
health outcomes including physical performance, pain reduction, and
psychological well-being occurred in Tai Chi compared with a variety of
Conclusions: reviewed studies examining
effects of Tai Chi on sleep quality were heterogeneous and some trials lacked
methodological rigor. Tai Chi significantly improved sleep quality in both
healthy adults and patients with chronic health conditions. This suggests that
Tai Chi may be considered as an alternative behavioral therapy in the treatment
of insomnia. High-quality, well-controlled randomized trials are needed to
better inform clinical decisions.
The study is published by
Journal of alternative and complementary
medicine in May, 2014.