Wayne State University

Exercise and Sleep

Close to 80% of postmenopausal women not on hormone replacement complain of sleep disturbances.  The majority of these women cannot or choose not to take estrogen replacement therapy (ERT).  There is some indication exercise may improve the sleep patterns of this cohort of women.

The interdisciplinary research team of Jean E. Davis, PhD RN from the WSU College of Nursing, Hermann-J. Engels, PhD, FACSM from the WSU College of Education, and Safwan Badr, MD from the WSU School of Medicine, are currently studying the effects of a regular aerobic exercise program on the disrupted sleep patterns of postmenopausal women who are estrogen deficient.  Study participants are women 1-5 years postmenopause who are sedentary, not on ERT and have difficulty falling asleep or maintaining their sleep after sleep onset.  Subjects are randomized to a 16-week home based walking program or an attention-only control group.  Extensive pre- and post- intervention research testing is performed in both the Exercise Physiology Laboratory in the Applebaum Pharmacy and Health Sciences Building at Wayne State University and in the Sleep Research Laboratory in the Sleep Disorders Center at Hutzel Hospital.  The research study is supported by a NIH-grant.  For additional information, contact Dr. Jean E. Davis.