Skip Navigation LinksHome > July 2014 - Volume 38 - Issue 3 > Performance on a Functional Motor Task Is Enhanced by Sleep...
Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy:
doi: 10.1097/NPT.0000000000000048
Research Articles

Performance on a Functional Motor Task Is Enhanced by Sleep in Middle-Aged and Older Adults

Al-Sharman, Alham PT, PhD; Siengsukon, Catherine F. PT, PhD

Supplemental Author Material
Collapse Box

Abstract

Background and Purpose:

Although sleep has been shown to enhance motor skill learning, it remains unclear whether sleep enhances learning of a functional motor task in middle-aged and older individuals. The purpose of this study was to examine whether sleep enhances motor learning of a functional motor task in middle-aged and older adults.

Methods:

Twenty middle-aged and 20 older individuals were randomly assigned to either the sleep condition or the no-sleep condition. Participants in the sleep condition practiced a novel walking task in the evening, and returned the following morning for retesting. Participants in the no-sleep condition practiced the walking task in the morning and returned the same day in the evening for a retest. Outcome measures included time around the walking path and spatiotemporal gait parameters.

Results:

Only the middle-aged and older adults in the sleep condition demonstrated significant off-line improvement in performance, measured as a decline in time to walk around the novel path and improvement in spatiotemporal gait parameters. The middle-aged and older adults in the no-sleep condition failed to demonstrate off-line improvements in performance of this functional task.

Conclusions:

This is the first study to provide evidence that sleep facilitates learning a clinically relevant functional motor task in middle-aged and older adults. Because many neurologic conditions occur in the middle-aged and older adults and sleep issues are very prevalent in many neurologic conditions, it is imperative that physical therapists consider sleep as a factor that may impact motor learning and recovery in these individuals.

Video Abstract available.

(See Video, Supplemental Digital Content 1, http://links.lww.com/JNPT/A73) for more insights from the authors.

© 2014 Neurology Section, APTA.

Login

Article Tools

Share

Follow JNPT on Twitter

Search for Similar Articles
You may search for similar articles that contain these same keywords or you may modify the keyword list to augment your search.