Comparison of the Effect of Acupressure and Pilates-Based Exercises on Sleep Quality of Postmenopausal Women: A Randomized Controlled trial

Maryam Ahmadinezhad, Marzieh Kargar, Fatemeh Vizeshfar Vizeshfar, Mohammad J Hadianfard


Postmenopausal women experience a variety of symptoms, among which sleep disorder is one of the most common problems. Acupressure and Pilates exercise programs are effective nonpharmaceutical treatments which can improve sleep quality. In the present study, we aimed to compare the effects of acupressure and Pilates‑based exercises on the sleep quality of postmenopausal women referred to medical clinics.

Materials and Methods: In this single‑blinded randomized controlled clinical trial, we recruited 108 women aged 40–60 years who were randomly assigned into one control and two intervention groups using balanced block randomization method (three groups of 36 each). The patients in the Pilates exercise group participated in an exercise training program of three 1‑hour sessions per week for 6 consecutive weeks. The participants of acupressure group received acupressure intervention three times a week for 6 weeks. The sleep quality of all participants was assessed and recorded using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) once before and once after the intervention.

Results: The results showed no statistically significant difference among the three groups on the total scores of sleep quality after the intervention. The intragroup comparison revealed that the changes in the mean total scores were significant in both the intervention groups (P ˂ 0.001) but not in the control group (P = 0.76).

Conclusions: Pilates‑based exercises and acupressure can
effectively improve women’s sleep quality. Both techniques can be applied as effective alternative and complementary methods for improving sleep quality during the postmenopausal period.


Acupressure; exercise movement techniques; Iran; post menopause; sleep

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