We aimed to systematically analyze reviews of randomized clinical trials that investigate the overall effect of exercise and of different types of exercise on sleep in older adults.
Meta-analysis was performed to obtain the standardized mean difference of the effect of the different types of exercise. Twenty systematic reviews published between 2012 and 2020 met the inclusion criteria of this overview.
Moderate significant effects of exercise were observed on overall sleep quality and its subjective components (quality, duration, latency, habitual efficiency, medication use, and daytime dysfunction). Among the types of exercise, sensitivity analysis revealed significant effects of Pilates, Tai Chi, and Baduanjin Qigong on sleep quality. Exercise has a positive effect on sleep quality in older people.
Our findings are extremely important, especially for decision makers in the health area, permitting the planning of actions and evidence-based decision making.