Here at SleepBetter.org, we always prefer natural solutions to problems whenever it’s possible, and there has been a plethora of news this week about natural alternatives that may work better than traditional treatments. See yesterday’s post, titled “Exercises to Relieve Sleep Apnea Studied.” Now, another study from the University of Rochester Medical Center is showing that the use of yoga could help cancer survivors get a better night’s sleep.
Cancer patients frequently report trouble sleeping, and the fatigue that comes with it … even after they’ve completed treatments like chemotherapy and radiation. In many cases, sleep aids have proven to be ineffective. The study from URMC, to be presented at the upcoming American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting in June, looked at more than 400 cancer surivors, primarily women with breast cancer. Half of those women were enrolled in a twice-per-week specialized yoga class.
Participants in the yoga group reported improved sleep quality, less fatigue, and a better quality of life while at the same time reducing the use of sleeping medications they were taking. The control group showed increased use of the sleep medications and reported reduced sleep quality, greater fatigue and a poorer quality of life.
The specialized yoga class, developed at URMC, is called YOCAS® (Yoga for Cancer Survivors.) It includes breathing exercises, gentle Hatha and restorative yoga postures and mindfulness exercises. Yoga Alliance-certified instructors who were trained to deliver the YOCAS® program at cancer centers in nine cities across the country.
Exercises to Relieve Sleep Apnea Studied