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Aerobic exercise affects sleep, psychological wellbeing and immune system parameters among subjects with chronic primary insomnia

Shehab M Abd El-Kader
Osama H Al-Jiffri


Background: Chronic primary insomnia is characterized by long-term difficulties in maintaining and initiating sleep, too early waking up, poor mood, fatigue, impaired concentration and poor quality of life. Exercise training is recommended to prevent and alleviate sleep disorders.

Objective: The aim of the study was to investigate the influence of aerobic exercise training on quality of sleep, psycho- logical wellbeing and immune system among subjects with chronic primary insomnia.

Material and methods: Eighty previously sedentary subjects with chronic primary insomnia subjects enrolled in this study, their age ranged from 35-56 years. All participants were randomly assigned to supervised aerobic exercise intervention group (group A, n=40) or control group (group B, n=40). Polysomnographic recordings for sleep quality assessment, Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), Profile of Mood States(POMS), Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES), number of CD3+,CD4+,CD8+ T cells count and CD4/CD8 ratio were measured before and at the end of the study after six months.

Results: There was a significant increase in the total sleep duration, sleep efficiency and sleep onset latency in group(A) after six months of aerobic exercise training, while, wake time after sleep onset and rapid eye movement (REM) latency significantly reduced after six months of aerobic training compared with values obtained prior to aerobic exercise training. Also, the mean values of BDI, POMS, CD3 count, CD4 count and CD8 count decreased significantly and the mean value of RSES significantly increased in group (A) after the aerobic exercise training, while the results of the control group were not significant. Moreover, there were significant differences between both groups at the end of the study.

Conclusion: Exercise training can be considered as a non-pharmacological modalty for modifying sleep quality, psycholog- ical wellbeing and immune system among subjects with chronic primary insomnia.

Keywords: Aerobic exercise; chronic primary insomnia; immune function; sleep quality; psychological wellbeing.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1729-0503
print ISSN: 1680-6905