News ID: 201121
Published: 0537 GMT September 24, 2017

Yoga may help breast cancer patients struggling to sleep

Yoga may help breast cancer patients struggling to sleep

A certain type of yoga may provide lasting benefits for breast cancer patients who have trouble sleeping, researchers reported.

The study included 227 women undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer who were randomly assigned to one of three groups, UPI reported.

One group practiced Tibetan yoga at least twice a week, another group did a simple stretching program, and the third group received usual care (the ‘control' group).

 The study participants were assessed one week after the end of the program, and the researchers followed up with them at three, six and 12 months later.

Women in the yoga group reported fewer sleep problems and less daytime drowsiness over the long term than those in the other two groups, the researchers said.

Study author Lorenzo Cohen, a director of the integrative medicine program at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer, said, “Sleep problems and fatigue are common among cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.”

The women in the Tibetan yoga program or the stretching program had been offered four 75- to 90-minute classes during their chemotherapy treatment.

Those taking part in Tibetan yoga were taught one-on-one by a trained instructor.

The women in this group were taught controlled breathing, visualization, meditation and postures, and were encouraged to practice yoga daily at home.

Cohen said, "While the effects of this intervention were modest, it is encouraging to see that the women who practiced yoga outside of class had improved sleep outcomes over time.

"Previous research has established that yoga effectively reduces sleep disturbances for cancer patients, but have not included active control groups or long-term follow-up.

“This study hoped to address previous study limitations.”


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