Efficacy of an m-health physical activity and sleep intervention to improve sleep quality in middle-aged adults: The refresh study randomized controlled trial

Anna T. Rayward, Beatrice Murawski, Mitch J. Duncan*, Elizabeth G. Holliday, Corneel Vandelanotte, Wendy J. Brown, Ronald C. Plotnikoff

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background Poor sleep health is highly prevalent. Physical activity is known to improve sleep quality but not specifically targeted in sleep interventions. 

Purpose To compare the efficacy of a combined physical activity and sleep intervention with a sleep-only intervention and a wait-list control, for improving sleep quality in middle-aged adults without a diagnosed sleep disorder. 

Methods Three-arm randomized controlled trial (Physical Activity and Sleep Health (PAS), Sleep Health Only (SO), Wait-list Control (CON) groups; 3-month primary time-point, 6-month follow-up) of 275 (PAS = 110, SO = 110, CON = 55) inactive adults (40–65 years) reporting poor sleep quality. The main intervention component was a smartphone/tablet “app” to aid goal setting and self-monitoring physical activity and/or sleep hygiene behaviors (including stress management), and a pedometer for PAS group. Primary outcome was Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) global score. Secondary outcomes included several self-reported physical activity measures and PSQI subcomponents. Group differences were examined stepwise, first between pooled intervention (PI = PAS + SO) and CON groups, then between PAS and SO groups. 

Results Compared with CON, PI groups significantly improved PSQI global and subcomponents scores at 3 and 6 months. There were no differences in sleep quality between PAS and SO groups. The PAS group reported significantly less daily sitting time at 3 months and was significantly more likely to report ≥2 days/week resistance training and meeting physical activity guidelines at 6 months than the SO group. 

Conclusions PIs had statistically significantly improved sleep quality among middle-aged adults with poor sleep quality without a diagnosed sleep disorder. The adjunctive physical activity intervention did not additionally improve sleep quality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)470-483
Number of pages14
JournalAnnals of Behavioral Medicine
Volume54
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes

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