Sufficient Exercise Is The Key to Good Sleep

By Rebecca Lewis on March 07, 2013

Does it take you plenty of hours in bed before finally falling to sleep? Do you always wake up in the middle of the night feeling restless? And in the morning, do you feel your sleep was not good enough?  Well then, it’s time that you get yourself into the gym – a new study suggests.

In the recent survey conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, researchers found a significant link between exercising and quality sleep.  Based on the poll results, self-described exercisers reported experiencing better sleep than the non-exercisers, even though they all had similar amount of sleep at night.

Among the exercisers, those who engaged in vigorous physical workouts reported having the ‘best’ quality of sleep. In fact, more than two-thirds of the vigorous exercisers said they rarely or had never experienced any symptoms associated with insomnia. On the other hand, half of the non-exercisers said they woke up during the night, and nearly one-fourth had difficulty falling asleep almost every night.

According to Shawn Youngstedt, a poll task force member from the University of South Carolina and Dorn VA Medical Centre, poor sleep may lead to poor health because it makes people less likely to have exercise. “Not exercising and not sleeping becomes a vicious cycle." he added.

Lack of Exercise = Poor Sleep

The survey revealed the people who don’t exercise tend to oversleep than those who exercised. Despite this, they still feel sleepy during the day and usually lack the energy to perform their usual activities. Non-exercisers reported they had rarely good quality sleep on work nights. They also had problems staying awake while driving, eating, or engaging in social activities. Matthew Buman, a poll task force member from Arizona State University, said it is normal to feel tired sometimes. But if excessive sleepiness becomes too recurring, it warrants a conversation with a doctor, as it may indicate that something is wrong with your health.

Lack of exercise increases risk of sleep apnoea

Worse, lack of exercise has been linked to sleep apnoea, a serious medical condition that could lead to death. The survey shows that 4 out of 10 non-exercisers have a moderate risk of sleep apnoea, as compared to one in four, and one in five of light exercisers and moderate exercisers respectively. Experts suggest that people with this condition are often overweight. Therefore, exercising may be an effective treatment.

Aside from observing regular exercise, spending less time sitting also helps promote quality sleep. In the survey results, those who sit for more than 8 hours a day are more likely to experience sleeping problems than those who sit for less than 8 hours.

Best time for exercise

For so long, health experts have discouraged people to exercise in the afternoon or evening as it may interfere with a person’s sleeping patterns. But the current research indicates that it doesn’t matter if people exercise in the morning or at night – it is definitely going to give them a deep slumber. The National Sleep Foundation has amended its recommendations for normal sleepers, removing restrictions on the best time to exercise. Nevertheless, people with insomnia are still discouraged from exercising at night as it may interfere with their treatment.


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Source of this article:

National Sleep Foundation Poll Finds Exercise Key to Good Sleep

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