According to a study, people had better quality of sleep and felt more alert throughout the day if they get a minimum of 150 minutes of exercise every week. From a sample of over 2,600 18 – 85 aged women and men, researchers found that 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each week gave a 65 % improvement in quality of sleep. Participants also felt less sleepy throughout the day, in comparison with individuals having less physical activity.
The research adds more evidence to growing research demonstrating how important exercise is for numerous health factors. Approximately 35 to 40 % of the adult population has problems with daytime sleepiness or with falling asleep. The scientific proof is encouraging since regular physical activity could be a non-pharmaceutical option to improve quality of sleep.
After controlling for BMI, age, health status, depression and smoking status, the relative risk of frequently feeling overly sleepy throughout the day in comparison to never feeling overly sleepy throughout the day decreased by 65 % for individuals meeting guidelines for physical activity.
Similar outcomes were also seen for having trouble concentrating when tired (45 % decrease) and getting leg cramps when sleeping (68 % less likely).
The results show a connection between regular physical activity and perceptions of sleepiness throughout the day, suggesting that participating regularly in physical activity could positively influence an person’s work productivity, or in the case of a student, affect their ability to focus in class.
Earlier research linking physical activity and sleep made use of only self-reports of exercise. The problem with this is that lots of people have a tendency to overestimate how much activity they do.
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