Effect of Short Term Pranayama on Perceived Stress, Sleep Quality, Heart Rate, and Blood Pressure
*Corresponding author: Dr. Prashanth K.S, Assistant Professor, Department of Physiology, Bangalore Medical College & Research Institute, Bengaluru, Karnataka. email@example.com
Pranayama (breathing exercises), involves manipulation of breath, consists of three phases: “Puraka” (inhalation), “kumbhaka” (retention) and “rechaka ” (exhalation) that can be either fast or slow. Among all yogic practices pranayama is simplest to learn and to practice regularly in daily life. So a study was conducted to explore whether pranayama practiced alone over a short duration, has any tangible effect on stress, sleep, and cardiovascular parameters
To evaluate the effect of short term practice of pranayama on Perceived Stress, Sleep Quality, Heart rate & Blood Pressure.
Materials and method
40 healthy subjects in the age group of 19–61 years were recruited in pranayama centers, prior to enrollment in pranayama course. Their HR, BP were recorded and they answered Perceived Stress Scale & Pittsburg Sleep Quality Questionnaire on the 1st day of enrollment. Then they practiced pranayama under supervision for 20 days, at the end of which HR, BP were recorded and they answered the same questionnaires. Data was statistically analyzed using students ‘t’ test, with P value <0.05 taken to be statistically significant.
Practicing pranayama for 20 days significantly (p<0.05) decreased stress, systolic & diastolic blood pressure, improved sleep quality. Heart rate changes were insignificant (p=0.9).
Pranayama alone when practiced even over a short term, significantly reduces perceived stress, improves sleep quality, and decreases blood pressure.
Pranayama, Heart Rate, Blood Pressure, Perceived Stress Scale, Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index.