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Posted by on Oct 7, 2017 in Breast cancer | 0 comments

In a nutshell

This study examined whether practicing Tibetan yoga during chemotherapy can benefit sleep quality. This study concluded that practicing twice a week or more led to greater long-term benefits over time. 

Some background

Sleep disturbances and fatigue are common side effects reported by patients undergoing chemotherapy. This can greatly impact the quality of life. Yoga is a form of low-impact exercise that has been shown to help to reduce sleep symptoms in patients who have finished treatment. It is not clear whether yoga may be helpful at reducing sleep symptoms in patients currently undergoing chemotherapy.

Methods & findings

This study investigated the affect a stretching program, Tibetan yoga or usual care had on sleep. 227 patients were randomly assigned to one of three groups. 85 women were given usual care (no intervention). 74 women took part in Tibetan yoga (TY) classes. 68 women took part in a stretching program (SP). Both TY and the SP included four 75- to 90-minute classes during chemotherapy treatments. Both groups also took part in 3 sessions after treatment finished. Classes were generally one-to-one. Sleep quality was reported by questionnaire.

There were no significant differences between the groups in average sleep disturbance over time. Patients in the TY group reported fewer daily sleep issues after one week of treatment compared to the SP group. Patients who practiced TY at least two times per week reported better sleep at 3 and 6 months after treatment. This was compared to those who did not practice 2 times per week and those in the UC group.

The bottom line

This study concluded that Tibetan yoga, practiced twice a week or more during chemotherapy, had modest benefits on sleep disturbance levels for patients who have completed chemotherapy. 

The fine print

Many results in this study were non-significant, perhaps due to smaller number of participants.. This study also focused on patients with good performance status. Fatigue could be worse in patients with other conditions or side effects. 

The average age of the participants was 50 years, which is quite young. This could have led to a greater benefit.

What’s next?

Consider trying yoga if you are having difficulty sleeping, but always check with your doctor before starting any type of physical activity.

Published By :


Date :

Sep 20, 2017

Original Title :

Randomized trial of Tibetan yoga in patients with breast cancer undergoing chemotherapy.

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