Association of Calf Muscle Pump Stimulation With Sleep Quality in Adults

Res Nurs Health. 2016 Dec;39(6):406-414. doi: 10.1002/nur.21751. Epub 2016 Sep 30.


Prevention of lower extremity fluid pooling (LEFP) is associated with improved sleep quality. Physical activity and compression stockings are non-invasive methods used to manage LEFP, but both are associated with low adherence. Calf muscle pump (CMP) stimulation is an alternative and more convenient approach. Convenience sampling was used to recruit 11 participants between ages 45 and 65 with poor sleep quality. A within-person single-group pre-test-post-test design was used to evaluate changes in sleep quality, daytime sleepiness, and functional outcomes sensitive to impaired sleep as measured by the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), Functional Outcomes of Sleep Questionnaire, and Epworth Sleepiness Scale after 4 weeks of CMP stimulation. Statistical analysis included effect size (ES) calculations. After daily use of CMP stimulation, participants demonstrated improvement in overall sleep quality (ES = -.97) and a large reduction in daily disturbance from poor sleep (ES = -1.25). Moderate improvements were observed in daytime sleepiness (ES = -.53) and functional outcomes sensitive to sleepiness (ES = .49). Although causality could not be determined with this study design, these results support further research to determine whether CMP stimulation can improve sleep quality. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Keywords: fluid retention; muscle stimulation; quality of life; sleep.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Electric Stimulation Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Contraction / physiology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders* / etiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires