Poor sleep quality linked to lower physical activity in people with PTSD

July 16, 2014

A new study shows that worse sleep quality predicts lower physical activity in people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Results show that PTSD was independently associated with worse quality at baseline, and participants with current PTSD at baseline had lower physical activity one year later. Further analysis found that sleep quality completely mediated the relationship between baseline PTSD status and physical activity at the one-year follow-up, providing preliminary evidence that the association of reduced sleep quality with reduced physical activity could comprise a behavioral link to negative health outcomes such as obesity.

"We found that sleep quality was more strongly associated with physical activity one year later than was having a diagnosis of PTSD," said lead author Lisa Talbot, postdoctoral fellow at the San Francisco VA Medical Center and the University of California, San Francisco. "The longitudinal aspect of this study suggests that sleep may influence physical activity."

Study results are published in the July 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, which is published by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

"This study adds to the literature that shows that better sleep leads to healthier levels of exercise, and previous research has shown that better sleep leads to healthier food choices," said American Academy of Sleep Medicine President Dr. Timothy Morgenthaler. "It is clear that healthy sleep is an essential ingredient in the recipe for a healthy life."

The study involved data from the Mind Your Heart Study, a prospective cohort study of 736 outpatients recruited from two Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers. PTSD was assessed with the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS). At baseline participants rated their overall during the last month, and at baseline and again one year later they reported how physically active they have been during the last month. Of the 736 military veteran participants, 258 had current or subsyndromal PTSD.

According to Talbot, the results suggest that behavioral interventions to increase physical activity should include an assessment for sleep disturbance.

"The findings also tentatively raise the possibility that could affect individuals' willingness or ability to implement behavioral interventions," she said. "Sleep improvements might encourage exercise participation."

Explore further: Sleep apnea treatment eases nightmares in vets with PTSD: study

Related Stories

Sleep apnea treatment eases nightmares in vets with PTSD: study

July 17, 2013
(HealthDay)—For military veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and sleep apnea, treatment with continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, reduces their nightmares, a new study finds.

Poor sleep linked to PTSD after heart attack

May 30, 2013
Clinicians have long speculated that poor sleep may be a mechanism involved in the higher risk of further cardiac events or death among those with post-traumatic stress disorder following a heart attack, but the association ...

Improved sleep may improve exercise duration

August 23, 2013
(HealthDay)—The length of an individual's sleep appears to influence their participation level in exercise the next day, according to a small study published in the August issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

Better sleep predicts longer survival time for women with advanced breast cancer

May 2, 2014
A new study reports that sleep efficiency, a ratio of time asleep to time spent in bed, is predictive of survival time for women with advanced breast cancer.

Little or poor sleep may be associated with worse brain function when aging

June 26, 2014
Research published today in PLOS ONE by researchers at the University of Warwick indicates that sleep problems are associated with worse memory and executive function in older people.

CPAP therapy reduces nightmares in veterans with PTSD and sleep apnea

July 8, 2013
A new study suggests that CPAP therapy reduces nightmares in veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

Recommended for you

Concerns that sleep apnea could impact healthspan

July 27, 2017
The number of people with obstructive sleep apnea has steadily increased over the past two decades. The disorder, which causes a person to briefly stop breathing when asleep, affects over 100 million people globally and is ...

Anti-nausea drug could help treat sleep apnea

June 6, 2017
An old pharmaceutical product may be a new treatment for obstructive sleep apnea, according to new research presented today by University of Illinois at Chicago and Northwestern University scientists at the SLEEP 2017 annual ...

New disposable, wearable patch found to effectively detect sleep apnea

June 4, 2017
Results of a definitive clinical trial show that a new, disposable diagnostic patch effectively detects obstructive sleep apnea across all severity levels.

Childhood sleep apnoea is common but hard to diagnose

April 28, 2017
The cessation of breathing during sleep caused by enlarged tonsils is common in preschool-age children and can cause serious complications, but the methods normally used to diagnose the condition are subjective and unreliable. ...

Curbing sleep apnea might mean fewer night trips to bathroom

March 27, 2017
(HealthDay)—Millions of Americans battle bothersome nighttime conditions, such as sleep apnea or the need to get up frequently to urinate.

Untreated sleep apnea in children can harm brain cells tied to cognition and mood

March 17, 2017
A study comparing children between 7 and 11 years of age who have moderate or severe obstructive sleep apnea to children the same age who slept normally, found significant reductions of gray matter - brain cells involved ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.