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Can regular exercise improve your quality of sleep?

Article / Review by on November 22, 2011 – 7:00 pmNo Comments

Can regular exercise improve your quality of sleep?

Can regular exercise improve your quality of sleep?

People who have trouble sleeping or staying asleep may catch more Zzz’s and feel more alert during the day by working out 150 minutes or more per week, according to findings published in the December issue of Mental Health and Physical Activity.

The study examined the relationship between accelerometer-measured physical activity and sleep among a nationally representative sample of more than 2,600 men and women ages 18-85. According to a university release researchers found that adults who met the national guidelines for physical activity, which is at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity a week, experienced a significant improvement in sleep quality:

After controlling for age, BMI (Body Mass Index), health status, smoking status, and depression, the relative risk of often feeling overly sleepy during the day compared to never feeling overly sleepy during the day decreased by 65 percent for participants meeting physical activity guidelines.

Similar results were also found for having leg cramps while sleeping (68 percent less likely) and having difficulty concentrating when tired (45 percent decrease).

The findings add to the growing body of research suggesting physical activity can help improve quality of sleep, vitality and mood.

By Lia Steakley
Stanford University Medical Center

Photo by Tulane Public Relations


* Stanford University Medical Center integrates research, medical education and patient care at its three institutions – Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford Hospital & Clinics and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital.

**  The above story is adapted from materials provided by Stanford University School of Medicine


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