Exercise & Sleep:
Exercise can help you get a good night sleep, the results of the National Sleep Foundation`s 2013 Sleep in America poll have suggested.
Vigorous, moderate and light exercisers are significantly more likely to say “I had a good night`s sleep” every night or almost every night on work nights than non-exercisers. Also, more than three-fourths of exercisers say their sleep quality was very good or fairly good in the past two weeks, compared to slightly more than one-half of non-exercisers.
“If you are inactive, adding a 10 minute walk every day could improve your likelihood of a good night`s sleep,” say experts.
Vigorous exercisers are almost twice as likely as non-exercisers to report “I had a good night`s sleep” every night or almost every night during the week. They also are the least likely to report sleep problem, the survey revealed.
More than two-thirds of vigorous exercisers say they rarely or never (in the past 2 weeks) had symptoms commonly associated with insomnia, including waking up too early and not being able to get back to sleep and difficulty falling asleep. In contrast, one-half of non-exercisers say they woke up during the night and nearly one-fourth had difficulty falling asleep every night or almost every night.
“Poor sleep might lead to negative health partly because it makes people less inclined to exercise,” say experts.
“The poll data suggest that the risk of sleep apnea in exercisers is half that of non-exercisers,” said Christopher Kline, PhD, poll task force member.
Separate from exercise, spending less time sitting may improve sleep quality and health, the poll suggested.
The survey found that those who sit for less than eight hours per day sitting are significantly more likely to say they have “very good” sleep quality than those who sit for eight hours or more.
The survey also found those who report exercising close to bedtime and earlier in the day do not demonstrate a difference in self-reported sleep quality. In fact, for most people exercise at any time seems to be better for sleep than no exercise at all.
This finding contradicts long-standing “sleep hygiene” tips that advise everyone not to exercise close to bedtime.