Healthy habits

How Exercise Can Help Us Sleep Better

How Exercise Can Help Us Sleep Better

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Daily exercise affects sleep habits.

There is a tendency to believe that when you exercise you can sleep better, but in the case of people with sleep problems, such as insomnia, this relationship is much more complex.

People who suffer from insomnia have a hyperarousal of the stress system, and a single exercise session in a given day is not enough to overcome that excitement, it could even be aggravated, since exercise is a physical stressor. However, as revealed by the results of a study, recently published in the journalThe Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, if a continuous exercise program is maintained for at least 4 months, physical exercise will improve sleep.

Apparently in patients with insomnia, sleep affects exercise more than exercise on sleep.

The authors recruited 11 patients with insomnia who were randomly assigned to remain inactive or to start a moderate resistance exercise program (usually a stationary bike or a treadmill), consisting of 3 or 4 30-minute sessions per week. of exercise, at the same time as their sleeping habits were recorded. This exercise program lasted for 16 weeks

Subjects rarely reported getting better sleep after exercising during the day, however they did say that after having a poor night's sleep they exercised for shorter periods of time.

Although after two months, the subjects had not improved their sleep after performing the exercise program, they did begin to show improvement after four months. At the end of that time, the exercise group volunteers slept much more soundly than they did at the beginning of the study, on average the duration of sleep was between 45 minutes and an hour longer on most nights, they woke up less frequently and were more active and less sleepy during the day.

Baron KG, Reid KJ and Zee PC. The Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine (2013). More information.

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