Nav: Home

Sleep health and yoga intervention delivered in low-income communities improves sleep

June 05, 2018

Pilot study results indicate that a sleep and yoga intervention has promising effects on improving sleep disturbance, sleep-related impairment, and sleep health behaviors.

Sleep problems are very common in low income communities yet often under-recognized and untreated, and are often related to sleep health behaviors, stress, and adverse environmental conditions. This study researched how to effectively deliver sleep health education and yoga interventions in underrepresented communities.

"We were encouraged to see large improvements in self-reported sleep quality and daytime functioning after the sleep hygiene and yoga intervention despite the short intervention period in this pilot study" said Christine Spadola, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow at both Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. "We found that many of our participants were not initially aware of some of the fundamental behaviors that comprise sleep hygiene, or healthy sleep practices, but were pleased to see their openness to making changes to improve sleep and their enthusiasm for participating in yoga."

By partnering at all levels with community members, the research team was able to develop a sleep health and yoga intervention that offered content relevant to the participants and was convenient for participants to attend. Group sessions were held in community rooms within two large low-income housing units in Boston, providing easy access for residents.

"Some participants reported that they were able to deeply relax for the first time as a result of the yoga classes," said Spadola. "Considering that stress underlies poor sleep as well as many chronic health conditions, we were very pleased with this result."

A pilot study was conducted of a combined sleep health and yoga intervention among racially/ethnically diverse adults residing in low-income housing communities, who reported sleeping less than 6 hours a night (n=23). The six-week intervention consisted sequentially of: one group sleep health education session delivered by a sleep expert (1-hour), one telephone coaching session (15 minutes), and four weekly 1-hour yoga classes.

Participants completed assessments both before and after the intervention, which included standardized measurements of sleep and well-being, such as the PROMIS Sleep-Related Impairment and Sleep Disturbance Short Forms, Sleep Hygiene Index, and validated stress and mood assessments.

Mean participant age was 41.4 years; 80.7 percent were female; 61.5 percent identified as non-Hispanic Black and less than 20 percent had a college degree. Results showed significant pre/post intervention improvements in sleep duration (5.3 ± 0.9 hours/night versus 7.2 ± 1.7 hours/night [p=.02]), sleep-related impairment (p=.002), sleep disturbance (p=.002), and sleep health behaviors (p=.021).

Attendance (100 percent received sleep health education; 47.8 percent attended at least 2 of 4 yoga classes), intervention feedback scores (73.7 percent rated the sleep education session as helpful or very helpful; 63.2 percent strongly agreed that the yoga class left them feeling relaxed and less stressed), and qualitative data support the acceptability of the intervention.

According to the study authors, this sleep intervention can be brought directly to residential communities of under-served populations and holds promise for high uptake and sustainability.

"Our work suggests that a community informed intervention that addresses socio-contextual barriers to participation and adherence and partners with residential community leaders and institutions can significantly impact health behaviors, such as improved sleep," said Spadola.

The senior authors of the study, Drs. Suzanne Bertisch and Susan Redline, are currently conducting a larger randomized controlled study to test the added value of yoga over sleep hygiene alone.
-end-
The research abstract was published recently in an online supplement of the journal Sleep and will be presented Tuesday, June 5, in Baltimore at SLEEP 2018, the 32nd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC (APSS), which is a joint venture of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society.

This study was funded by the National Institutes of Health grant #R34AT008923.

Abstract Title: A Community-Based Sleep Health and Yoga Intervention to Improve Sleep Outcomes among Low-income and Racial/Ethnic Minority Adults
Abstract ID: 1047
Presentation Date: Tuesday, June 5
Oral Presentation: 2 p.m. to 2:15 p.m., Room 319
Poster Presentation: 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Board 144
Presenter: Christine Spadola, PhD

For a copy of the abstract or to arrange an interview with the study author or an AASM spokesperson, please contact AASM Communications Coordinator Corinne Lederhouse at 630-737-9700, ext. 9366, or clederhouse@aasm.org.

About the American Academy of Sleep Medicine

Established in 1975, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) improves sleep health and promotes high quality, patient-centered care through advocacy, education, strategic research, and practice standards. The AASM has a combined membership of 10,000 accredited member sleep centers and individual members, including physicians, scientists and other health care professionals. For more information about sleep and sleep disorders, including a directory of AASM-accredited member sleep centers, visit http://www.sleepeducation.org.

American Academy of Sleep Medicine

Related Stress Articles:

Captive meerkats at risk of stress
Small groups of meerkats -- such as those commonly seen in zoos and safari parks -- are at greater risk of chronic stress, new research suggests.
Stress may protect -- at least in bacteria
Antibiotics harm bacteria and stress them. Trimethoprim, an antibiotic, inhibits the growth of the bacterium Escherichia coli and induces a stress response.
Some veggies each day keeps the stress blues away
Eating three to four servings of vegetables daily is associated with a lower incidence of psychological stress, new research by University of Sydney scholars reveals.
Prebiotics may help to cope with stress
Probiotics are well known to benefit digestive health, but prebiotics are less well understood.
Building stress-resistant memories
Though it's widely assumed that stress zaps a person's ability to recall memory, it doesn't have that effect when memory is tested immediately after a taxing event, and when subjects have engaged in a highly effective learning technique, a new study reports.
Stress during pregnancy
The environment the unborn child is exposed to inside the womb can have a major effect on her or his development and future health.
New insights into how the brain adapts to stress
New research led by the University of Bristol has found that genes in the brain that play a crucial role in behavioural adaptation to stressful challenges are controlled by epigenetic mechanisms.
Uncertainty can cause more stress than inevitable pain
Knowing that there is a small chance of getting a painful electric shock can lead to significantly more stress than knowing that you will definitely be shocked.
Stress could help activate brown fat
Mild stress stimulates the activity and heat production by brown fat associated with raised cortisol, according to a study published today in Experimental Physiology.
Experiencing major stress makes some older adults better able to handle daily stress
Dealing with a major stressful event appears to make some older adults better able to cope with the ups and downs of day-to-day stress.

Related Stress Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Jumpstarting Creativity
Our greatest breakthroughs and triumphs have one thing in common: creativity. But how do you ignite it? And how do you rekindle it? This hour, TED speakers explore ideas on jumpstarting creativity. Guests include economist Tim Harford, producer Helen Marriage, artificial intelligence researcher Steve Engels, and behavioral scientist Marily Oppezzo.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#524 The Human Network
What does a network of humans look like and how does it work? How does information spread? How do decisions and opinions spread? What gets distorted as it moves through the network and why? This week we dig into the ins and outs of human networks with Matthew Jackson, Professor of Economics at Stanford University and author of the book "The Human Network: How Your Social Position Determines Your Power, Beliefs, and Behaviours".