The Effect of Exercise Training on Quality and Quantity of Sleep and Lipid Profile in Renal Transplant Patients: A Randomized Clinical Trial

S Pooranfar, E Shakoor, MJ Shafahi, M Salesi, MH Karimi, J Roozbeh, M Hasheminasab


Background: Patients undergoing renal transplantation consume immunosuppressive drugs to prevent graft rejection. Cardiovascular complications and reduced quality of sleep are among the side effects of these drugs. Studies have indicated that the use of non-therapeutic methods such as exercise is important to reduce these complications.

Objective: To evaluate the effect of a period of exercise training, as a non-therapeutic method, on quality and quantity of sleep and lipid profile in renal transplant patients.

Methods: 44 renal transplant recipients were selected to participate in the study and randomized into exercise (n=29) and control (n=15) groups. The exercise group participated in a cumulative exercise program 3 days a week for 10 weeks in 60–90-minute exercise sessions. Control group subjects did not participate in any regular exercise activity during this period. Sleep quality of the subjects was evaluated using Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) questionnaire; the sleep quantity was assessed by recording the duration of convenient nocturnal sleep of the subjects. Physiological sleep-related variables (serum triglyceride [TG], and total, high-density lipoprotein [HDL], and low-density lipoprotein [LDL] cholesterol) were measured before and after 10 weeks of exercise training.

Results: In exercise training group, sleep quality of the subjects was improved by 27%; the sleep quantity was increased by 30 minutes (p<0.05). TG, cholesterol and LDL values were significantly (p<0.05) decreased after 10 weeks of exercise training in the exercise group compared to the control group, however, no change was observed in serum HDL level in exercise group compared to the control. There was also a significant (p=0.05) difference in sleep quality and quantity between control and exercise groups. However, there was no correlation between changing quality and quantity of sleep with sleep-related physiological factors.

Conclusion: 10 weeks of exercise activity improved the quality and quantity of sleep as well as a number of sleep-related physiological parameters in renal transplant recipients, and would be an effective approach to treat sleep-related disorders in renal transplant recipients.


Exercise training; Sleep quality; Sleep quantity; Lipid profile; Renal transplantation

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 pISSN: 2008-6482
 eISSN: 2008-6490


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