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Exercise research shows healthier sleep

05-03-2013

Working out and exercising is a crucial part of achieving a good quality sleep, according to the results of a new US survey.

The survey from the National Sleep Foundation, which polled 1000 individuals, found that as little as ten minutes of exercise a day could improve sleep quality, and that generally the more ‘vigorous’ the workout the better the sleep would be. While those who exercised reported just as much time spent asleep as those who lived sedentary lifestyles (approximately seven hours), the quality of their sleep was markedly better and they experienced a fewer number of sleep-related problems.

Highlighting the wellbeing benefits of good sleep and exercise, the survey found that respondents who exercised were more likely to be in better general health than their non-exercising counterparts. Those who claimed to not exercise reported a range of sleep issues, including a higher propensity for daytime naps, symptoms of sleep apnoea, insomnia and problems in staying focused and awake during the day.

Contrary to previous recommendations on the subject of exercise and sleep, researchers at the foundation claim that working out at any point of the day – even close to bedtime – is preferable for sleep quality to doing no exercise at all. Earlier studies found that the intensive response that the body experiences during and after certain exercises was not compatible to the process of winding down and going to sleep.


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