Physical exercise as a therapeutic approach for adults with insomnia: systematic review and meta-analysis

Author: Carolina Vicaria Rodrigues D'Aurea1, Cristina Frange2, Dalva Poyares2, Altay Alves Lino de Souza2, Mario Lenza1
1 Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein , São Paulo , SP , Brazil .
2 Universidade Federal de São Paulo , São Paulo , SP , Brazil .
Conference/Journal: Einstein (Sao Paulo)
Date published: 2022 Jul 22
Other: Volume ID: 20 , Pages: eAO8058 , Special Notes: doi: 10.31744/einstein_journal/2022AO8058. , Word Count: 167

To systematically review the effects (benefits and harms) of different types of physical exercise on insomnia outcomes in adult populations with no mood disorders. Objective and subjective sleep outcomes and related mismatches were analyzed.

Systematic review and meta-analysis. Quality of evidence was also examined.

Six studies including 295 participants with insomnia diagnosis were selected. Yoga, Tai Chi, resistance exercise and aerobic exercise were used in protocols with different duration, intensity and frequency. Studies involved different populations, including inactive or sedentary individuals, older adults and postmenopausal women. Physical exercise improved subjective sleep quality (very low quality of evidence) and reduced insomnia severity (high quality of evidence).

Findings suggest individualized physical exercise must be addressed to design optimal protocols, with standardized type, duration, intensity, and frequency. For the time being, physical exercise may be considered an alternative and/or ancillary therapeutic modality for patients diagnosed with insomnia. Physical exercise can be used to improve subjective complaints, but not objective sleep outcomes.

PMID: 35894372 DOI: 10.31744/einstein_journal/2022AO8058