New US research has found that exercising close to bedtime may be beneficial for sleep quality, going against earlier theories that pre-sleep work-outs may cause a delay in the time it takes to fall asleep. Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine surveyed 1000 people aged between 23 and 60, with a variation in the amount of exercise undertaken from ‘vigorous’ to none at all. It was found that of the ‘vigorous’ exercisers some 77% had ‘fairly good or better’ sleep, compared to just 56% of the non-exercisers. Just 8% of the vigorous exercisers had difficulty falling asleep on a regular basis, compared to 24% of non-exercisers. Daytime tiredness levels also backed up the claims that exercising was better for sleep quality, with those who didn’t exercise suffering regularly low energy levels during the day.
“There seemed to be a dose-response effect,” commented Dr. Christopher Kline, sleep researcher at the institution. “The more you exercise the better you’ll sleep,”
Notably, no difference in sleep quality was found in those who exercised close to bedtime compared to those who exercised earlier in the day. However, exercisers who worked out before doing a desk-based office job, where they would be sitting down for a large proportion of the day, found that the benefits of their exercising was negated.
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