People who exercise sleep better: Survey

NEW YORK, Mar 5:
People who exercise, even lightly, sleep better at night, according to a new US survey.
Among people who said they engaged in light, moderate or vigorous physical activity during the week, 56 to 67 per cent reported that they “had a good night’s sleep”, almost every night on week nights, found the poll conducted by National Sleep Foundation in US.
By contrast, just 39 per cent of people who did not exercise at all reported sleeping this well on week nights, MyHealthNewsDaily reported.
Those who exercise were also less likely to report sleep problems compared to non-exercises.
Just 8 per cent of people who exercised vigorously said they had difficulty falling asleep almost every night, compared to 24 per cent of non-exercisers, the poll found.
The survey included 1,000 US adults ages 23 to 60. Close to 50 per cent of participants were light exercisers, 25 per cent were moderate exercisers, 18 per cent were vigorous exercisers, and 9 per cent were non-exercisers.
Light physical activity was defined as walking; moderate physical activity included exercises such as weight lifting and yoga; and vigorous physical activity included exercises such as running, swimming or cycling.
Participants rated their weekly physical activity as light, moderate, vigorous or none based on activities they performed for at least 10 minutes at a time.
Spending less time sitting was also linked to better sleep. About 22 to 25 per cent of people surveyed who sat for less than eight hours a day reported that they enjoyed “very good” sleep, compared to just 12 to 15 per cent of people who sat for more than eight hours.
“People who are active tend to sleep better,” said Lisa Meltzer, a sleep psychologist at National Jewish Health in Denver, who was not involved in the poll.
However, it’s important to note that the poll only found an association, and cannot prove that exercise actually helps people sleep. It could be that people who don’t sleep well are too tired to exercise.
In addition, people who exercise tend to have routines, such as going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, which can benefit sleep. When people are very busy, they end up sacrificing both sleep and exercise for work or other activities, Meltzer was quoted as saying by the website.
While the quality of sleep was poorer for people who didn’t engage in physical activity, both exercisers and non-exercisers reported getting similar amounts of sleep — about seven hours a night.
Because exercise may cause weight loss, it may also improve symptoms of sleep apnea, a condition often linked to obesity, Meltzer said. (PTI)