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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 controls.

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.



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