More than half of older adults have difficulties sleeping although most don't seek treatment. Some take sedatives but these can lead to daytime confusion, drowsiness, falls and fractures while behaviour therapies can be costly and not always available closer to home. Physical exercise has been found to enhance sleep quality but older people sometimes have difficulties with this. Tai chi uses gentle, slower movements and is more suitable for older people. A study of 112 healthy adults between the ages of 59 and 86 divided them into two groups. The first group practiced 20 simple tai-chi moves while the other group attended health education classes that included advice on stress management, diet and sleep habits. Compared to the other group the tai-chi group showed improved sleep quality, less drowsiness, improved concentration, longer sleep and less sleep disturbance.
You can find out more about this research at