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Tai Chi Qigong Improves Night-time Sleep Quality among Older Adults with Cognitive Impairment
October 24, 2016 -
Age-related cognitive decline is a growing public health concern worldwide. More than a quarter of adults with cognitive impairment experience sleep disturbance. A pilot study by the Chinese University of Hong Kong evaluated the preliminary effects of Tai Chi Qigong (TCQ) on improving the night-time sleep quality of older adults with cognitive impairment.

Fifty-two older adults with cognitive impairment who complain of sleep disturbance were recruited from two district elderly community centers and 27 of them were randomly assigned to the TCQ group while the other 25 assigned to the control group.

The intervention group received TCQ training consisting of two 60-minute sessions each week for 2 months. The control group was advised to maintain their usual activities. Sleep quality was measured by the Chinese Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index. Quality of life was measured by Short-form 12, cognitive functions measured by mini-mental state examination, and subjective memory deficits measured by the memory inventory for Chinese.

Data were collected at baseline, 2 months, and 6 months. Significant results were noted at 6 months in the Chinese Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index global score, sleep duration, habitual sleep efficiency, and the Short-form 12 mental health component. The TCQ participants reported better sleep quality and a better (quality of life) mental health component than the control group.

The study concluded that Tai Chi Qigong can be considered a useful nonpharmacological approach for improving sleep quality in older adults with cognitive impairment.


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