Tai Chi Improves Sleep and Reduces Stress in College Students
October 29, 2011 -
This study, published in the October 2011 issue of Journal of Alternative and
Complementary Meidicne, is performed by Department of Human Development and
Psychological Counseling, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Objectives: This study sought to determine whether
participants in Tai Chi classes would report increases in mindfulness greater
than that of a comparison group, and whether changes in mindfulness were
associated with improvements in mood, perceived stress, self-regulatory
self-efficacy, and sleep quality.
Design: The study design was quasi-experimental
with repeated measures. Settings/location: The study was set in a midsized
Subjects: Students aged 18-48 years old enrolled in 15-week courses of either
Tai Chi (76 of them) or special recreation (control group,132 of students).
Intervention: Chen-style Tai Chi classes were offered 2
times per week for 50 minutes each time. Outcome measures: Self-report of
mindfulness (Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire), mood (Four Dimensional Mood
Scale), perceived stress (Perceived Stress Scale), self-regulatory self-efficacy
(Self-regulatory Self-Efficacy Scale), and sleep quality (Pittsburgh Sleep
Results: Increases in total mindfulness scores
occurred only in the Tai Chi group, not in the control group. All well-being
variables showed a pattern of improvement in the Tai Chi group, with either
stability or decline over time in the control group. Increases in mindfulness
were significantly correlated with improvements on all well-being measures and
with sleep quality.
Conclusions: Relative to a recreation control group, Tai Chi classes for
college students are associated with increased mindfulness and improved sleep
quality, mood, and perceived stress, but not self-regulatory self-efficacy.
Randomized control design studies are needed to substantiate the causal role of
Tai Chi exercise in the development of mindfulness and associated improvements