Exercise Reduces Sleep Problems Experienced by Breast Cancer Survivors

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Physical activity intervention significantly reduced perceived global sleep dysfunction at three and six months.
Physical activity intervention significantly reduced perceived global sleep dysfunction at three and six months.

(HealthDay News) -- 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 breast cancer survivors. 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 physical activity intervention significantly reduced perceived global sleep dysfunction at three and six months, primarily because of improvements in sleep quality aspects not detected with accelerometer," the authors write.

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