Yoga effectively reduces chronic lower-back pain and associated sleep disturbances, lowering the need for sleep medications, according to a study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine (2019; 35, 167–76).

Boston University School of Medicine researchers conducted the randomized controlled trial to evaluate whether chronic lower-back pain treatments like yoga and physical therapy could influence sleep quality and potentially address pain issues. The study included 320 adults with chronic lower-back pain who participated in 12 weekly yoga sessions, attended the same number of one-on-one physical therapy sessions or read an educational book. Participants were evaluated before the intervention, after 12 weeks and 1 year from the study’s start.

Data analysis found significant improvements in sleep quality among both yoga and physical therapy participants. Study authors noted that reducing reliance on medications—especially any combination of sleep and pain medications—is important.

See also: Yoga Boosts Brain Fitness