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Exercise is Positively Correlated with Sleep Quality

by Anonymous
(Stanford, California, United States)

This article from the New York Times discusses the recent evidence now supporting the claim that performing exercise in the day leads to a better quality of sleep at night. This is significant because, prior to these studies, the claim of exercise bringing about a better sleep, regardless of age group, was more or less an unconfirmed adage that had not been tested or anecdotal evidence. However, these recent studies finally testing the claim of exercise improving a person’s sleep has given scientific support and confirmation to the claim.

In one study, those between ages 65 and 81 showed a positive correlation between amount of exercise and quality of their sleep. Another study showed physical activity decreased sleep interruptions in patients with arthritis. One other study showed those between the ages of 18 to 85 who followed the guidelines of at least 150 minutes a week of moderate exercise reported a 65% increase in the quality of their sleep. The article reports on all of these recent studies that finally give scientific credibility to the claim that exercise helps sleep rather than just being an assumed truth.

However, a drawback of these studies is that they acknowledge the correlation and confirm the claim of exercise producing better sleep, but they do not explain why this correlation exists. This explanation is hopefully also being researched as knowing the biological mechanisms behind it can produce more effective exercise routines people can follow and possibly manipulate the mechanisms to induce sleep in more effective sleep medications. However, by just pointing out the positive correlation between exercise and sleep may motivate more people to perform healthier activities, such as gardening or jogging, as opposed to unhealthy activities, such as lounging on the couch, now that sleep, an enjoyable event, has been scientifically shown to benefit from exercise.

Personally, I can utilize this new information as further motivation when I go exercise. Rather than just the positive self-esteem from other facets of exercise, I can be more motivated in going to the gym with the promise that my sleep for that night will diminish if I don’t exercise during that day.

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