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The influence of physical activity in water on sleep quality in pregnant women: A randomised trial

  • R. Rodriguez-Blanque
    Affiliations
    Grupo de Investigación CTS 367, Plan Andaluz de Investigación, Junta de Andalucía, Spain

    Departamento de Enfermería, Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad de Granada, Granada, Spain
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  • J.C. Sánchez-García
    Affiliations
    Grupo de Investigación CTS 367, Plan Andaluz de Investigación, Junta de Andalucía, Spain

    Departamento de Enfermería, Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad de Granada, Granada, Spain
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  • A.M. Sánchez-López
    Affiliations
    Grupo de Investigación CTS 367, Plan Andaluz de Investigación, Junta de Andalucía, Spain

    Departamento de Enfermería, Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad de Granada, Granada, Spain
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  • N. Mur-Villar
    Affiliations
    Grupo de Investigación CTS 367, Plan Andaluz de Investigación, Junta de Andalucía, Spain

    Universidad de Ciencias Médicas de Cienfuegos, Cienfuegos, Cuba
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  • M.J. Aguilar-Cordero
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author at: Departamento de Enfermería, Faculta de Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad de Granada, Avda/de la Ilustración s/n, CP: 18071, Granada, Spain.
    Affiliations
    Grupo de Investigación CTS 367, Plan Andaluz de Investigación, Junta de Andalucía, Spain

    Departamento de Enfermería, Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad de Granada, Granada, Spain

    Complejo Hospitalario Universitario de Granada, Granada, Spain
    Search for articles by this author

      Abstract

      Introduction

      Sleep is a physiological state of self-regulation. The international classification of sleep disorders now includes as a new category those occurring during pregnancy. Regular physical activity is known to improve the quality of life, one aspect of which is sleep quality. During pregnancy, physical activity is decreased but should not be eliminated, as studies have reported a high correlation between sleep disorders and the absence of physical activity. Regular physical exercise during pregnancy, whether performed in water or out of it, provides greater control of gestational weight gain. Furthermore, the reduced weight gain during pregnancy, as a result of physical exercise, is associated with greater physical resistance to the demands of childbirth, combats the fatigue caused by pregnancy and reduces back pain. All of these outcomes tend to enhance sleep quality, among other beneficial effects.

      Objective

      To determine whether, in pregnant women, there is an association between moderate-intensity physical activity in an aquatic environment and sleep quality.

      Material and methods

      A randomised clinical trial was conducted with a sample of 140 pregnant women aged 21–43 years, divided into two groups; Intervention Group and Control Group. The women were recruited in the twelfth week of gestation and took part in the [Study of] Water Exercise in Pregnancy programme from week 20 to week 37. Sleep quality was evaluated in the first and third trimesters of pregnancy, using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index questionnaire.

      Results

      The Mann–Whitney U test showed that the results obtained were statistically significant (p < 0.05). In the Intervention Group, 44 of the women (65.67%) were classified as “poor sleepers” versus 62 women (92.54%) in the Control Group.

      Conclusions

      The [Study of] Water Exercise in Pregnancy method improves the quality of sleep in pregnant women, both subjectively and in terms of latency, duration and efficiency.

      Keywords

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