SEP 11, 2019 4:18 PM PDT

Better Sleep, Brought To You By Exercise

WRITTEN BY: Abbie Arce

Regular difficulty falling or staying asleep, called chronic insomnia, is the most common sleep disorder among adults. In the search for better, more restful nights, some patients turn to exercise to ease their symptoms.

Studies found that moderate-intensity aerobic exercise improves the sleep of patients with chronic insomnia. Those who exercise typically fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer than those who are sedentary.

It is difficult to ignore the benefits of a more restful sleep. Top performing athletes credit good sleep with their success. Recent studies have shown that longer nights rest significantly improve measures of athletic performance, including speed, reaction time, and accuracy.

Additionally, poor sleep is linked to weight gain. Adults and children who get inadequate sleep are as much as 85% more likely to become obese. This may have to do with how the body regulates appetite. Studies show that those who got a full night's rest tend to eat fewer calories than their peers. In any case, obesity is a risk factor for heart disease. In this way, regularly getting a good night's rest can benefit the heart.

Research also suggests that poor sleepers may have an increased risk of type two diabetes. In experiments where sleep was restricted, insulin sensitivity was reduced.

In addition to the effects it has on the heart, healthy sleep habits also contribute to increased concentration and productivity. One study found that sleep-deprived medical interns made 36% more serious medical errors than did interns who got a decent night's rest. Other studies have found that the effects of sleep deprivation are similar to those of alcohol intoxication.

Sleep is also improves the function of the immune system. Even minimal sleep loss has been shown to impair immune system function. Studies have found that people who sleep less than seven hours are nearly three times more likely to develop a cold then persons who slept eight or more hours. 

Another way poor sleep influences health is through increased inflammation. Sleep loss is known to increase inflammation within the body and is strongly linked to long-term inflammation in the digestive tract. For people with Crohn's disease, sleeplessness makes them twice as likely to experience a relapse than patients who sleep well. 

These are just some of the ways sleeplessness can negatively impact health. For many, adding regular exercise to their routine may be the answer to getting a better night's rest. 


 

Sources: John HopkinsNational Institutes of HealthMayo Clinic

About the Author
Applied Sport and Exercise Science
Abbie is an AFAA certified personal trainer and fitness instructor with an interest in all things health-science. She has recently graduated with her BS in Applied Sport and Exercise Science from Barry University in Miami. Next, she intends to earn an MPH with a focus in Epidemiology.
You May Also Like
FEB 16, 2022
Cardiology
The Future of Artificial Intelligence and Valvular Heart Disease
FEB 16, 2022
The Future of Artificial Intelligence and Valvular Heart Disease
The heart is made up of valves that open and close with blood flow as the heart muscle relaxes and contracts. Valvular h ...
MAY 26, 2022
Cardiology
Reducing Salt Intake Improves Heart Failure Symptoms
MAY 26, 2022
Reducing Salt Intake Improves Heart Failure Symptoms
Reducing sodium intake improves symptoms, but not hospitalizations or deaths, for heart failure patients.
JUN 12, 2022
Neuroscience
Multiple Heart-Related Conditions Triples Dementia Risk
JUN 12, 2022
Multiple Heart-Related Conditions Triples Dementia Risk
People who have multiple cardiometabolic conditions have a three times higher dementia risk than those with a high genet ...
JUN 19, 2022
Neuroscience
Heart Disease and Diabetes Double Dementia Risk
JUN 19, 2022
Heart Disease and Diabetes Double Dementia Risk
Having two or more cardiometabolic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disaese, and stroke, doubles dementia risk. ...
JUL 16, 2022
Health & Medicine
Taste Is a Matter of Perception... And Genetics
JUL 16, 2022
Taste Is a Matter of Perception... And Genetics
In one of the first of its kind, a study involving the link between genetics and taste perceptions (bitter, salt, savory ...
JUL 21, 2022
Clinical & Molecular DX
Scientists Find a Potential Cause and Treatment for Shorter Life Span in Men
JUL 21, 2022
Scientists Find a Potential Cause and Treatment for Shorter Life Span in Men
Scientists are beginning to understand the significant impact of a process called hematopoietic mosaic loss of Y chromos ...
Loading Comments...