Introduction: Sleep disorders are common in hemodialysis patients. They can affect their quality of life. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of aerobic training on sleep quality, inflammatory status, and serum leptin levels in hemodialysis patients.
Materials and methods: Twenty-eight men in the age range of 28 to 74 years who were on maintenance hemodialysis and had sleep problems were enrolled in this study. They were randomly assigned into control and training groups (14 patients in each group). Patients in the training group performed a 10- to 30-minute stationary cycling, 3 times a week, during the 1st two hours of every dialysis session, for 8 weeks. The Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index and the Baecke questionnaire on physical activity were filled out for all participants. To assess serum leptin and C-reactive protein levels, blood samples were drawn before the beginning and at the end of the eighth week.
Results: At the end of the study, serum leptin and C-reactive protein levels were significantly reduced (P < .001 and P < .001, respectively). Furthermore, the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index scores of the training group declined significantly after 8 weeks (P < .001). There was a positive correlation between sleep quality and serum levels of leptin and C-reactive protein (P = .03 and P = .04, respectively).
Conclusions: Aerobic exercise with moderate intensity during the first two hours of a dialysis session could improve sleep quality and inflammatory status of hemodialysis patients, which predicts morbidity, mortality, and quality of life. However, additional research is needed to confirm these effects.