Can’t Sleep? A Good Sweat Will Help

Peaceful sleepIf you exercise regularly you probably sleep pretty well, too.  Or at least you think you do! In this year’s “Sleep in America” study by the National Sleep Foundation, exercisers reported better sleep than self-described non-exercisers, even though both groups reported getting about the same amount of sleep (6 hours, 51 minutes on weeknights).

Sleeping better won’t rank high on the list of motivators when it comes getting people off the couch–unless you aren’t getting a good night’s sleep regularly, or you’re suffering from a sleep disorder.

The good news is you don’t have to become a gym rat or marathoner to start seeing the sleep benefits of exercise when you put your head on the pillow each night.  Max Hirshkowitz, PhD, the poll’s task force chair, says adding as little as 10 minutes of moderate exercise may likely improve your night’s sleep. “Making this small change and gradually working your way up to more intense activities like running or swimming could help you sleep better.”

Exercise even offers a “reduced risk” of sleep disorders, according to a study of over 700 men and women who reported symptoms of sleep disorders. Again, you don’t have to do a lot to gain this benefit. Just exercise vigorously at least once each week, or walk a brisk six blocks each day, the study concluded.

Isn’t a good night’s sleep worth a little sweat?!


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