Effects of a 12-week physical activities programme on sleep in female university students

Res Sports Med. Apr-Jun 2017;25(2):191-196. doi: 10.1080/15438627.2017.1282354. Epub 2017 Feb 1.


Lack of sleep is known to negatively affect adolescent's health and the links between regular physical activity and sleep are unclear.This pilot study investigated whether the regular practice of physical activities among sedentary female students would improve their sleep. Nineteen female students, identified as sedentary and having poor subjective sleep quality were assigned in two groups to a 12-week university physical activities programme in accordance with the recommendations of World Health Organisation (N = 10) or to a control condition (N = 9). Sleep was assessed with actigraphy before and after the study and with the Pittsburg Sleep Quality 15 Index (PSQI) at the beginning, middle, and end of the study. The intensity of physical activities was controlled by heart rate monitor. The analysis showed that sleep quality in the physical activities group improved, with the mean ± SD PSQI score decreasing from 9.1 ± 1.7 to 4.8 ± 2.0. Despite some limitations, these pilot data indicate that a physical activities programme is feasible to implement in students, and that participation in such a programme improves sleep in 18- 24 -year-old female adolescents. Further potential benefits remain to be investigated in follow-up research.

Keywords: Sleep quality; adolescent health; physical activity; student.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Actigraphy
  • Adolescent
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Physical Exertion / physiology*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Sedentary Behavior
  • Sleep / physiology*
  • Students
  • Universities
  • Young Adult