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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 498961, 7 pages
Clinical Study

Exercise Improves Immune Function, Antidepressive Response, and Sleep Quality in Patients with Chronic Primary Insomnia

1Universidade Federal de Goiás, Jataí, GO, Brazil
2Universidade Federal de São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brazil
3Universidade Estadual Paulista “Júlio de Mesquita Filho”, Presidente Prudente, SP, Brazil
4College of Nursing and Health Innovation, and Exercise and Wellness, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ, USA
5Phoenix VA Health Care System, Phoenix, AZ, USA
6Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil

Received 16 March 2014; Revised 18 August 2014; Accepted 19 August 2014; Published 21 September 2014

Academic Editor: Esteban Martinez

Copyright © 2014 Giselle Soares Passos et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of moderate aerobic exercise training on sleep, depression, cortisol, and markers of immune function in patients with chronic primary insomnia. Twenty-one sedentary participants (16 women aged 44.7 ± 9 years) with chronic primary insomnia completed a 4-month intervention of moderate aerobic exercise. Compared with baseline, polysomnographic data showed improvements following exercise training. Also observed were reductions in depression symptoms and plasma cortisol. Immunologic assays revealed a significant increase in plasma apolipoprotein A (140.9 ± 22 to 151.2 ± 22 mg/dL) and decreases in CD4 (915.6 ± 361 to 789.6 ± 310 mm3) and CD8 (532.4 ± 259 to 435.7 ± 204 mm3). Decreases in cortisol were significantly correlated with increases in total sleep time and REM sleep . In summary, long-term moderate aerobic exercise training improved sleep, reduced depression and cortisol, and promoted significant changes in immunologic variables.