Document Type: Original Article
Background: Physical activity is among the most significant factors behind sleep quality. However, there are limited data on the effects of different types of physical activity on sleep quality.
Objectives: This study aimed to compare the effects of aerobic and anaerobic exercise on sleep quality among male nonathlete students.
Methods: As a three-group randomized controlled trial, this study was done on ninety male nonathlete nursing students of Zahedan Islamic Azad University, Zahedan, Iran. Students were randomly assigned to an aerobic exercise, an anaerobic exercise, and a control group. For 10 consecutive weeks, students in the aerobic and the anaerobic groups respectively attended aerobic and anaerobic exercise programs thrice a week. Data were collected using a demographic questionnaire and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index and were analyzed using the one-way analysis of variance, the Tukey's post hoc, the Chi-square, and the paired-sample t-tests.
Results: At baseline, the mean scores of sleep quality in the aerobic exercise, anaerobic exercise, and control groups were 4.06 ± 3.62, 4.56 ± 4.93, and 4.50 ± 4.01, respectively (P = 0.98). However, after the intervention, these values significantly changed to 2.03 ± 2.96, 1.96 ± 3.60, and 4.66 ± 4.16, respectively (P = 0.008). Pairwise between-group comparisons showed that the mean scores of sleep quality in both intervention groups were significantly lower than the control group (P < 0.05) while the difference between the intervention groups was not statistically significant (P > 0.05).
Conclusion: Exercise, either aerobic or anaerobic, significantly improves sleep quality among male nonathlete students.