(HealthDay News) — Participation in a Tibetan yoga program (TYP) during chemotherapy results in modest, short-term benefits in sleep quality, with long-term benefits seen over time for those who practice at least two times a week, according to a study published online Sept. 20 in Cancer.
Alejandro Chaoul, Ph.D., from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, and colleagues randomized women with breast cancer (stage I to III) who were undergoing chemotherapy to TYP (74 women), stretching program (STP; 68 women), or usual care (85 women). Interventions included four sessions during chemotherapy, followed by three booster sessions over the subsequent six months.
The researchers found that there were no group differences in total sleep disturbances or fatigue levels over time. However, at one week after treatment, patients in the TYP group reported fewer daily disturbances versus those in the STP (P = 0.03) and usual-care (P = 0.02) groups. At other time points, group differences were maintained for TYP versus STP. Patients in the STP group had greater minutes awake after sleep onset one week after treatment versus those in the TYP (P = 0.0003) and usual-care (P = 0.0002) groups. Better Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index and actigraphy outcomes were seen at three and six months after treatment in patients in the TYP group who practiced at least two times a week during the follow-up period, compared with those who did not and versus the usual-care group.
“Participating in TYP during chemotherapy resulted in modest short-term benefits in sleep quality, with long-term benefits emerging over time for those who practiced TYP at least two times a week,” the authors write.