Researchers found low-to-moderate intensity sessions helped breast cancer survivors by reducing insomnia and fatigue.
Just two 75-minute sessions a week for four weeks helps people feel less tired, while they also report better social, physical and emotional wellbeing. Experts said sleep problems typically affected between 30% and 60% of cancer patients and survivors. It could be due to the side-effects of cancer drugs or fears over the implications of having the disease.
Researchers at the University of Rochester , New York, studied 245 women who had been treated for early-stage breast cancer , with an average age of 54. All the women were suffering sleep problems and were quizzed about their energy and pain levels, sleep patterns, social interactions, sex life, mental state and ability to work.
The women were then split into two groups, with the first following a course of yoga for cancer survivors, while the others did no yoga at all. The course included breathing exercises, meditation and yoga postures.
After four weeks, all women were questioned again about their lifestyle. Those who had done yoga reporting better sleep quality, less insomnia and less fatigue.
« As yet, nothing has been found that works as well as yoga at improving quality of life among those who have suffered from the disease. It is safe, drug-free and has no side-effects » lead researcher Dr Anita Peoples said.