Tai chi may be an effective non-pharmaceutical means of improving anxiety and poor sleep quality in young adults, according to a pilot study from America. Seventy-five adults aged 18-40 were randomised to one of three interventions: 10 weeks of tai chi classes (twice per week), 10 weeks of tai chi with a DVD or a control group who received a handout on anxiety management. Eighty-five per cent of participants were retained during the intervention and 70 per cent completed the two month follow-up assessments. To increase statistical power, the two tai chi groups were combined in the analyses of anxiety and sleep quality measures. No significant changes in anxiety were found in the control group, whereas levels of anxiety decreased significantly over time in the two tai chi groups. Sleep quality scores improved across time for all three groups, but tai chi participants who adhered to their practice reported the greatest improvement.
Effects of tai chi chuan on anxiety and sleep quality in young adults: lessons from a randomized controlled feasibility study. Nat Sci Sleep. 2016 Nov 14;8:305-314.