Better Sleep and Tai Chi Reduce Inflammation and Improve Health
In a study published in Biological Psychiatry, inflammation can be relieved for people over the age of 55 either through cognitive behavioral therapy or movement meditation Tai Chi.
“Behavioral interventions that target sleep reduce inflammation and represent a third pillar, along with diet and physical activity, to promote health and possibly reduce the risk of age-related morbidities including depression,” said Dr. Michael Irwin, who conducted this work along with his colleagues at the Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology at the University of California Los Angeles.
For this study, the researchers recruited 123 older adults with insomnia who were randomized to receive one of 3 types of classes: cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia, the movement meditation tai chi, or a sleep seminar (the control condition).
The study found that the behavioral cognitive therapy reduced the symptoms of insomnia as well as reduced inflammation. Tai Chi reduced inflammation, and did so by reducing the expression of inflammation at the cellular level and by reversing activation of inflammatory signaling pathways. The control group showed no significant improvement in inflammation.
These results provide an evidence-based molecular framework to understand how behavioral interventions that target sleep may reduce inflammation and promote health.
For more information, read the full study.