Listed in Issue 120


MANJUNATH and TELLES, Swami Vivekananda Yoga Research Foundation, Bangalore, India, have explored the effect of yoga and Ayurveda on sleep in the elderly.


Sleep in older persons is characterized by a decreased ability to remain asleep, resulting in fragmented sleep and reduced daytime alertness. The present study was designed to compare the effects of Yoga and Ayurveda on the self rated sleep in a geriatric population.


69 residents of a home for the elderly were randomized to yoga, Ayurveda (a herbal preparation), or no intervention. The yoga intervention consisted of physical postures, relaxation techniques, breathing practice ad lectures on yoga. The groups were assessed for self-evaluation of sleep over a week at baseline and at 3 and 6 months of intervention.


The yoga group showed a significant decrease in the time taken to fall asleep by about 10 min (p<0.05), an increase in the total number of hours slept by about 60 min (p< 0.05), and in the feeling of being rested in the morning (p<0.05) after six months. The other groups showed no significant change.


The practice of yoga significantly improves the length and quality of sleep in the elderly.


Manjunath NK, Telles S. Influence of Yoga and Ayurveda on self-rated sleep in a geriatric population. Indian Journal of Medical Research 121 (5): 683-690, May 2005.

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