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J. Clin. Med. 2019, 8(2), 193; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm8020193

Influence of a 30-Day Slow-Paced Breathing Intervention Compared to Social Media Use on Subjective Sleep Quality and Cardiac Vagal Activity

1
Department of Performance Psychology, German Sport University Cologne, Institute of Psychology, 50933 Cologne, Germany
2
Université de Caen Normandie-UFR STAPS, EA 4260 Caen, France
3
Department of Psychology, Helmut Schmidt University, 22043 Hambourg, Germany
4
University of the Federal Armed Forces Hambourg, 22043 Hamburg, Germany
5
Solent University Southampton, Southampton SO14 0YN, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 December 2018 / Revised: 18 January 2019 / Accepted: 2 February 2019 / Published: 6 February 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Epidemiology & Public Health)
Full-Text   |   PDF [247 KB, uploaded 6 February 2019]   |   Review Reports

Abstract

Breathing techniques are part of traditional relaxation methods; however, their influence on psychophysiological variables related to sleep is still unclear. Consequently, the aim of this paper was to investigate the influence of a 30-day slow-paced breathing intervention compared to social media use on subjective sleep quality and cardiac vagal activity (CVA, operationalized via high-frequency heart rate variability). Healthy participants (n = 64, 33 male, 31 female, M = 22.11, SD = 3.12) were randomly allocated to an experimental or control group. In the experimental group, they had to perform slow-paced breathing for 15 min each evening across a 30-day period. This was administered through a smartphone application. The control group used social media (e.g., Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp) for the same duration. The night before and after the intervention, their CVA was assessed via a light portable Electrocardiogram (ECG) device, and they had to fill out the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index questionnaire. Results showed that in comparison to the use of social media, the slow-paced breathing technique improved subjective sleep quality and increased overnight CVA, while a tendency was observed for morning awakening CVA. Slow-paced breathing appears a promising cost-effective technique to improve subjective sleep quality and cardiovascular function during sleep in young healthy individuals. View Full-Text
Keywords: parasympathetic nervous system; cardiac vagal tone; high-frequency heart rate variability (HF-HRV); deep breathing; slow breathing; cardiac coherence; vagus nerve; respiratory sinus arrhythmia; vagal tank theory; neurovisceral integration model parasympathetic nervous system; cardiac vagal tone; high-frequency heart rate variability (HF-HRV); deep breathing; slow breathing; cardiac coherence; vagus nerve; respiratory sinus arrhythmia; vagal tank theory; neurovisceral integration model
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 (CC BY 4.0).

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Laborde, S.; Hosang, T.; Mosley, E.; Dosseville, F. Influence of a 30-Day Slow-Paced Breathing Intervention Compared to Social Media Use on Subjective Sleep Quality and Cardiac Vagal Activity. J. Clin. Med. 2019, 8, 193.

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