Do you ever have trouble falling asleep at night — or catch yourself nodding off during the day? If so, you’re in good company. A large CDC survey found that over 1/3 of U.S. adults get less than 7 hours of sleep each night, and even more fall asleep during the day unintentionally at least once a month. Worse yet, nearly 5% admit to falling asleep while driving. Here’s some good news for the sleep-deprived:
- According to a recent study, people who met national guidelines for physical activity (150 minutes/week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes/week of vigorous exercise or a combination of both) reported far better daytime alertness and better sleep quality compared to those who didn’t — plus, they were able to fall asleep faster at bedtime.
- After adjusting for factors such as weight, health status, and smoking history, the difference in sleep quality between the more active and less active subjects was significant. Those who met national physical activity guidelines were 65% less likely to report daytime sleepiness, 68% less likely to report leg cramps, and 45% less likely to have trouble focusing when fatigued.
- Another recent study found that 150 minutes/week of aerobic exercise plus resistance training resulted in reduced symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea and better sleep quality in previously inactive overweight and obese subjects — even though no weight loss occurred.
- Loprinzi P, Cardinal B, Association between objectively-measured physical activity and sleep, NHANES 2005–2006. Mental Health and Physical Activity Volume 4, Issue 2, December 2011, Pages 65-69 doi:10.1016/j.mhpa.2011.08.001
- Kline CE, Crowley EP, Ewing GB, Burch JB, Blair SN, Durstine JL, Davis JM, Youngstedt SD, The effect of exercise training on obstructive sleep apnea and sleep quality: a randomized controlled trial. Sleep. 2011 Dec 1;34(12):1631-40. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22131599