The Effect of Mind-Body Therapies on Insomnia: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

Author: Wang X1, Li P1, Pan C1, Dai L1, Wu Y1, Deng Y2
1Department of Clinical Psychology, the Third Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, 410013, China.
2Psychosomatic Health Institute, the Third Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, 410013, China.
Conference/Journal: Evid Based Complement Alternat Med.
Date published: 2019 Feb 13
Other: Volume ID: 2019 , Pages: 9359807 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1155/2019/9359807. eCollection 2019. , Word Count: 333

Background/Purpose: Sleep plays an important role in individuals' health. The functions of the brain, the cardiovascular system, the immune system, and the metabolic system are closely associated with sleep. As a prevalent sleep disorder, insomnia has been closely concerned, and it is necessary to find effective therapies. In recent years, a growing body of studies has shown that mind-body therapies (MBTs) can improve sleep quality and ameliorate insomnia severity. However, a comprehensive and overall systematic review has not been conducted. In order to examine the effect of MBTs on insomnia, we conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis evaluating the effects of MBTs on sleep quality in healthy adults and clinical populations.

Methods: PubMed, EMBASE, the Cochrane Library, and review of references were searched up to July 2018. English language studies of all designs evaluating the effect of MBTs on sleep outcomes in adults with or without diseases were examined. To calculate the SMDs and 95% CIs, we used a fixed effect model when heterogeneity was negligible and a random effect model when heterogeneity was significant.

Results: 49 studies covering 4506 participants published between 2004 and 2018 were identified. Interventions included meditation, tai chi, qigong, and yoga which lasted 4 to 24 weeks. The MBTs resulted in statistically significant improvement in sleep quality and reduction on insomnia severity but no significant effects on sleep quantity indices, which were measured by sleep diary or objective measures. We analyzed the effects of tai chi and qigong separately as two different MBTs for the first time and found that qigong had a slight advantage over tai chi in the improvement of sleep quality. Subgroup analyses revealed that the effect of MBTs on sleep quality in healthy individuals was larger than clinical populations. The effect of MBTs might be influenced by the intervention duration but not the frequency.

Conclusions: MBTs can be effective in treating insomnia and improving sleep quality for healthy individuals and clinical patients. More high-quality and well-controlled RCTs are needed to make a better conclusion in further study.

PMID: 30894878 PMCID: PMC6393899 DOI: 10.1155/2019/9359807