Effects of resistance exercise training and stretching on chronic insomnia

Braz J Psychiatry. Jan-Feb 2019;41(1):51-57. doi: 10.1590/1516-4446-2018-0030. Epub 2018 Oct 11.

Abstract

Objective: The aim of this study was to assess the effects of resistance exercise and stretching on sleep, mood, and quality of life in chronic insomnia patients.

Methods: Three 4-month treatments included: resistance exercise (n=10), stretching (n=10), and control (n=8). Sleep was evaluated with polysomnography, actigraphy, and questionnaires. Mood and quality of life were assessed with the Profile of Mood States (POMS) and the Medical Outcomes Study Short-Form 36-Item Health Survey (SF-36), respectively.

Results: There were no significant treatment differences between resistance exercise and stretching. However, compared with the control treatment, resistance exercise and stretching led to significantly greater improvements in Insomnia Severity Index scores (-10.5±2.3, -8.1±2.0 vs. 2.3±1.8, respectively), and actigraphic measures of sleep latency (-7.1±4.6, -5.2±1.9 vs. 2.2±2.1 min), wake after sleep onset (-9.3±2.8, -7.1±3.0 vs. 3.6±4.2 min), and sleep efficiency (4.4±1.8, 5.0±0.8 vs. -2.3±2%). Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) global scores (-5.3±0.8, -3.9±1.5 vs. -0.1±0.8) and sleep duration (1.2±0.3, 1.6±0.6 vs. -0.1±0.2 h) also improved following both experimental treatments compared with control. PSQI-Sleep efficiency increased after resistance exercise compared with control (19.5±3.9 vs. 2.1±4.3%). No significant differences were observed in polysomnography or quality of life measures. Tension-anxiety was lower in the stretching group than the control group.

Conclusion: Moderate-intensity resistance exercise and stretching led to similar improvements in objective and subjective sleep in patients with chronic insomnia.

Clinical trial registration: NCT01571115.

MeSH terms

  • Actigraphy
  • Adult
  • Affect*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polysomnography
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Resistance Training / methods*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / psychology
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / rehabilitation*

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT01571115