Exercise and Sleep
Do you spend time at the CrossFit gym? Take Zumba® or BodyPump classes? Or perhaps run 3 miles per day? You exercise to stay healthy but whatever you do to break a sweat also seems to help you sleep better.
In the National Sleep Foundation annual survey, 1,000 people were polled to classify the quality of their exercise and also report on how well they slept. According to the survey, 48% regularly exercised with light activity, 25% at a moderate level and 18% considered themselves vigorous exercisers. Of course, there was a small percentage, 9%, who admitted that they did not exercise at all. No matter if they exercised or not, all survey participants claimed on average close to 7 hours of sleep a night during the work week and 7.5 hours on the weekend. The results of the study showed that exercisers who were the most devoted slept the best with just under 20% of them admitting that they would classify their sleep quality as fair or very bad. On the other hand, 50% of non-exercisers did not sleep well and categorized the night of rest as fair or bad.
Granted, it has been a long-held understanding that heavy exercise performed during the day (and not right before bedtime) fosters a great night of sleep. But is there also a connection in the reverse? Can getting a solid 8 hours of sleep improve exercise performance?
In a Feinberg School of Medicine Northwestern University study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, researchers investigated whether or not there was a two-way relationship between exercise and sleep in a sample of women with insomnia. Participants performed 30 minutes of aerobic exercise 3 times a week with data collection evaluating sleep quality based on self-reporting from the women along with accurate measurement of total sleep time, length of time to fall asleep and whether or not there were any instances of waking up once asleep. The group discovered that based on all results sleep influenced exercise the day after sleep rather than exercise influencing sleep. They concluded that improving sleep could positively affect the quality of exercise.
In a nutshell, if you exercise wholeheartedly, you will sleep soundly and be restored when you wake up in the morning. And if you get at least 7 hours of sleep, you will be more inclined to get up and sweat up a storm with whatever form of exercise you might choose.
At Sleep Apnea Treatment Centers of America (SATCOA), we are here to help you find solutions to your sleep problems. And if you or a loved one has obstructive sleep apnea, find out what your treatment options might be by contacting one of our medical concierges today at 1-855-863-4537 to schedule a free consultation.