The effects of different meditation exercises on sleep quality in older people: a network meta-analysis

  • Bin He
  • Lin Zhang
  • Jian-hua Zhuang
  • Jin Xu
  • Peng Li
  • Hua PengEmail author

Key summary points


The purpose of this research was to estimate the effects of different meditation exercises on the improvement of sleep disorders in older people using pairwise and network meta-analyses.


Qigong, Yoga, and Tai Chi could help older people improve their sleep disorders.


Meditation exercises may have a role in the management of insomnia in older people.



Chronic sleep loss or sleep disorders is a public health problem affecting older people and cause many health problems. We aim to estimate the effects of different meditation exercises on relieving and improvement of sleep disorders in older people using the pairwise and network meta-analyses.


Randomized controlled trials, which were published in English and reported on meditation exercises for sleep disorders in the older people, were retrieved from PubMed and EMBASE up to May 2018. Publication bias of the included studies were assessed by the Cochrane Collaboration recommendations. Network meta-analysis was performed by ADDIS, and all test models used random-effects model. Pooled effect sizes were presented with weighted mean differences (WMDs) and 95% confidence interval (CI).


A total of ten studies were included in our research. Pairwise comparisons indicated that Qigong could significantly improve the quality of sleep in older people with sleep disorders compared with Activities (WMD = − 4.28, 95% CI − 5.75 to − 2.81). In addition, there were significant differences in Education vs. Usual care (WMD = 2.60, 95% CI 1.03–4.17) and Tai Chi vs. Activities (WMD = − 1.05, 95% CI − 1.73 to − 0.38). With great consistence and convergence, network meta-analysis showed that there was a significant difference in Qigong vs. Activities (WMD = − 4.23, 95% CI − 8.31 to − 0.21). Moreover, Qigong showed a best outcome in relieving sleep disorders, followed by Yoga.


Qigong, Yoga, and Tai Chi improved sleep disorders in the older people, and Qigong intervention had the best effect followed by Yoga. A long-term clinical verification should be needed in the future.


Meditation exercise Sleep disorder Older people Systematic review Meta-analysis 



This work is supported by the Key projects of Shanghai Science and Technology Commission (Polysomnography in Clinical Verification of OSAS and Insomnia) (No. 11DZ1921309).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent


Supplementary material

41999_2019_212_MOESM1_ESM.tif (467 kb)
Supplementary Fig. 1. Risks of bias graph (TIFF 467 kb)
41999_2019_212_MOESM2_ESM.tif (933 kb)
Supplementary Fig. 2. Rank probability of pre-interventions (TIFF 933 kb)
41999_2019_212_MOESM3_ESM.tif (1 mb)
Supplementary Fig. 3. Rank probability of post-interventions (TIFF 1035 kb)
41999_2019_212_MOESM4_ESM.doc (78 kb)
Supplementary material 4 (DOC 78 kb)


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Copyright information

© European Geriatric Medicine Society 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bin He
    • 1
  • Lin Zhang
    • 1
  • Jian-hua Zhuang
    • 1
  • Jin Xu
    • 1
  • Peng Li
    • 1
  • Hua Peng
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Neurology, Changzheng HospitalSecond Military Medical UniversityShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China

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