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
  • 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
SEP 07, 2019
Cardiology
SEP 07, 2019
Your Brain On Cardiovascular Exercise
There is an increasing number of studies that explore the connection between exercise and the brain. These studies have revealed some fascinating connectio...
OCT 10, 2019
Cardiology
OCT 10, 2019
Parkinson's Disease is Present in the Blood
Parkinson's disease is a progressive disorder of the nervous system. Often starting with a barely noticeable tremor in one hand, the disease affects a...
JAN 29, 2020
Cardiology
JAN 29, 2020
Eating Eggs Everyday Not Linked to Heart Disease
The common controversy over whether eating eggs is bad for heart health may finally have been dissolved thanks to new findings by scientists at McMaster Un...
FEB 25, 2020
Cardiology
FEB 25, 2020
Simple Blood Test May Prevent Deaths from Heart Attack
Cardiovascular disease is responsible for almost 18 million deaths every year, making it the top killing-disease in the world. Now, researchers at Newcastl...
MAR 20, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
MAR 20, 2020
WHO Says Ibuprofen May Still Work Against COVID-19
Since the announcement of a French Health Minister in recent days linking usage of ibuprofen and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) w...
APR 07, 2020
Cardiology
APR 07, 2020
Heart Attack Doctors Sit Idle Amid Coronavirus Fears
Across the United States, doctors have reported that hospitals are eerily quiet apart from wards housing patients diagnosed with, or suffering from symptom...
Loading Comments...