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Chester Regional Medical Center release
Exercise can affect your sleep.
The results of the National Sleep Foundation’s 2013 Sleep in America poll show a compelling association between exercise and better sleep.
The National Sleep Foundation began surveying American sleep health and behaviors in 1991.
NSF releases the poll findings as part of its 16th annual National Sleep Awareness Week campaign, held March 3-10, that culminates with the change to Daylight Saving Time on March 10.
“If you are inactive, adding a 10 minute walk every day could improve your likelihood of a good night’s sleep,” says Max Hirshkowitz, PhD, poll task force chair. “Making this small change and gradually working your way up to more intense activities like running or swimming could help you sleep better.”
Vigorous exercisers are almost twice as likely as non-exercisers to report “I had a good night’s sleep” every night or almost every night during the week. They also are the least likely to report sleep problems.
More than two-thirds of vigorous exercisers say they rarely or never (in the past two weeks) had symptoms commonly associated with insomnia, including waking up too early and not being able to get back to sleep (72 percent) and difficulty falling asleep (69 percent). In contrast, one-half (50 percent) of non-exercisers say they woke up during the night and nearly one-fourth (24 percent) had difficulty falling asleep every night or almost every night.
Non-exercisers also have the highest risk for sleep apnea.
“Sometimes we might feel tired, and that’s normal,” says Matthew Buman, PhD, poll task force member. “But if excessive sleepiness is your normal state, it warrants a conversation with your doctor. It could be a red flag that something is wrong with your health.”
To improve your sleep, try the following sleep tips: