More Exercise May Lead to More Sleep

Posted on April 01 2013

Having trouble sleeping at night? This is a common problem, especially among working adults. A possible remedy for this is more exercise, which may or may not be exciting news for you. Many Americans don’t have time for exercise in their busy schedule between work and running the kids to basketball practice and gymnastics before getting home to start dinner. The good news is, light to moderate exercise and things as simple as less time sitting can help cure your sleep issues.

Results from a new poll show that people who exercise, even lightly, reported sleeping better than those who don’t exercise at all. 56-67% of those who reported that they engage in light, moderate or intense physical activity during the week said they “had a good night’s sleep.” Only 39% of people who said they do not exercise at all reported sleeping well during the week. Also, people who exercise, as opposed to those who don’t, were less likely to report that they had sleep problems.

During this study, light physical activity was defined as walking; moderate physical activity included things such as weight lifting and yoga; and intense physical activity was defined with activities such as running, swimming or cycling. Poll participants answered which level of exercise they do based on activities they performed for at least 10 minutes at a time. However, spending less time sitting, whether it be at work or at home, was also linked to better sleep.

Ever heard not to exercise too close to bed time? Well, believe it or not, individuals who exercise at any time of the day reported sleeping better than those who didn’t exercise at all. Generally, those who exercise tend to have routines, like going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, and this can also benefit sleep. Plus, exercising can help you lose weight, which can improve symptoms of sleep apnea, a condition very often linked to obesity. Whether you have a sleep disorder, or just generally need more shut-eye, more exercise may lead to more sleep.

So, make it a point to get up and take a 15-20 minute stroll if it’s nice out, or buy a yoga DVD that you can put in after work to relax and exercise your muscles after a long day at your desk. It’s a safe bet that you will start sleeping better!



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