Randomized, Controlled Trial of Exercise on Objective and Subjective Sleep in Parkinson's Disease

Academic Article


  • Background: Sleep dysfunction is common and disabling in persons with Parkinson's Disease (PD). Exercise improves motor symptoms and subjective sleep quality in PD, but there are no published studies evaluating the impact of exercise on objective sleep outcomes. The goal of this study was to to determine if high-intensity exercise rehabilitation combining resistance training and body-weight interval training, compared with a sleep hygiene control improved objective sleep outcomes in PD. Methods: Persons with PD (Hoehn & Yahr stages 2–3; aged ≥45 years, not in a regular exercise program) were randomized to exercise (supervised 3 times a week for 16 weeks; n = 27) or a sleep hygiene, no-exercise control (in-person discussion and monthly phone calls; n = 28). Participants underwent polysomnography at baseline and post-intervention. Change in sleep efficiency was the primary outcome, measured from baseline to post-intervention. Intervention effects were evaluated with general linear models with measurement of group × time interaction. As secondary outcomes, we evaluated changes in other aspects of sleep architecture and compared the effects of acute and chronic training on objective sleep outcomes. Results: The exercise group showed significant improvement in sleep efficiency compared with the sleep hygiene group (group × time interaction: F = 16.0, P < 0.001, d = 1.08). Other parameters of sleep architecture also improved in exercise compared with sleep hygiene, including total sleep time, wake after sleep onset, and slow-wave sleep. Chronic but not acute exercise improved sleep efficiency compared with baseline. Conclusions: High-intensity exercise rehabilitation improves objective sleep outcomes in PD. Exercise is an effective nonpharmacological intervention to improve this disabling nonmotor symptom in PD. © 2020 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.
  • Published In

  • Movement Disorders  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Amara AW; Wood KH; Joop A; Memon RA; Pilkington J; Tuggle SC; Reams J; Barrett MJ; Edwards DA; Weltman AL
  • Start Page

  • 947
  • End Page

  • 958
  • Volume

  • 35
  • Issue

  • 6