Background: Old age is a stage of life featured with many physiological and mental changes. The Iranian population is aging, and one of the problems that the elderly are faced with is sleep disorders. The present study is an attempt to examine the effectiveness of an exercise program on the sleep quality of the elderly.
Methods: A semi-experimental study was carried out on the elderly males referred to the Shahid Yari Elderly Center, Kermanshah, Iran. The sample group comprised of 46 participants: 23 in the experimental group and 23 in the control group. The study was carried out for a period of 2 months and follow-up was conducted every week. To improve the quality of sleep of the participants, a four-stage exercise program was implemented and the collected data were analyzed by SPSS version 20.
Results: The results of a Mann-Whitney test showed that the quality of sleep of the majority in the experimental group improved compared with that of the control group (P<0.05). In addition, a Wilcoxon test showed improvement of the Petersburg's sleep quality index based on subelements and the results of a total score of sleep in the experimental group after the intervention.
Conclusion: The study showed effectiveness of scheduled exercising on the quality of sleep of the elderly. It is recommended, therefore, to add an exercise program to the daily program of the elderly.
Keywords: aged; exercises; sleep.