The effect of meditative movement on sleep quality: A systematic review

Sleep Med Rev. 2016 Dec:30:43-52. doi: 10.1016/j.smrv.2015.12.001. Epub 2015 Dec 12.


The purpose of this systematic review was to identify and assess evidence related to the efficacy of meditative movement (MM) on sleep quality. We conducted a comprehensive review of relevant studies drawn from English and Chinese databases. Only randomized controlled trials (RCTs) reporting outcomes of the effects of MM (tai chi, qi gong, and yoga) on sleep quality were taken into consideration. Twenty-seven RCTs fulfilled our inclusion criteria and formed the basis for this review. Due to clinical heterogeneity, no meta-analysis was performed. Seventeen studies received a Jadad score of ≥3 and were considered high-quality studies. Findings of the 17 studies showed that MM has beneficial effects for various populations on a range of sleep measures. Improvement in sleep quality was reported in the majority of studies and was often accompanied by improvements in quality of life, physical performance, and depression. However, studies to date generally have significant methodological limitations. Additional RCTs with rigorous research designs focusing on sleep quality or insomnia and testing specific hypotheses are needed to clearly establish the efficacy of MM in improving sleep quality and its potential use as an intervention for various populations.

Keywords: Meditative movement; Sleep quality; Systematic review.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Depression / therapy
  • Humans
  • Meditation*
  • Movement / physiology*
  • Quality of Life
  • Sleep / physiology*