Exercise has promising effects on sleep disturbances and quality of life among cancer patients. Aerobic exercises (AE) and mind-body exercises (MBE) have different mechanisms for improving sleep, but whether they are effective remains unclear. This systematic review and meta-analysis is the first to examine the effectiveness of AE and MBE on sleep outcomes, specifically among cancer patients with sleep disturbances. A systematic search of several databases, from inception to January 2018, was conducted. The pooled effect sizes suggested that both AE (standardized mean difference (SMD) = 0.33, 95% confidence intervals (CI): 0.11, 0.54) and MBE (SMD = 0.18, 95% CI: 0.06, 0.30), improved sleep outcomes in cancer patients with poor sleep quality post-intervention. The effects remained significant after 3–6 months for AE, but not MBE. Due to the heterogeneity in AE, future studies should establish the optimal AE prescription. For MBE, future research should study essential components that make the intervention effect sustainable.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Clinical Neurology
- Physiology (medical)