Exercise reduces sleep problems in breast cancer survivors

December 26, 2017

(HealthDay)—A physical activity intervention reduces perceived sleep dysfunction at three and six months for post-primary treatment breast cancer survivors, according to a study published recently in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

Laura Q. Rogers, M.D., M.P.H., from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and colleagues examined the effects of a physical activity behavior change intervention on sleep quality in a sample of 222 post-primary treatment . The survivors were randomized to a three-month physical activity behavior change intervention (Better Exercise Adherence after Treatment for Cancer [BEAT Cancer]) or usual care.

The researchers found that BEAT Cancer significantly improved Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index [PSQI] global sleep quality compared with usual care after adjustment for covariates at three and six months (mean between-group difference, −1.4 and −1.0, respectively). At three months, but not at six months, BEAT Cancer improved several PSQI subscales (sleep quality, sleep disturbances, and daytime dysfunction; mean between-group difference, −0.3, −0.2, and −0.2, respectively). There was a nonsignificant increase in the percentage of participants classified as good sleepers. Accelerometer latency and efficiency did not differ significantly between the groups.

"A intervention significantly reduced perceived global sleep dysfunction at three and six months, primarily because of improvements in aspects not detected with accelerometer," the authors write.

Explore further: Tibetan yoga practice may improve sleep quality for breast cancer patients receiving chemotherapy

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