Daytime Exercise Promotes Nighttime Sleep Quality

For those facing challenges with sleep quality, conventional advice often revolves around evening habits. However, emerging research suggests a more impactful approach rooted in daytime physical activity. According to a new study, altering one’s daily routine to include more exercise can play a vital role in improving sleep at night.

Numerous individuals struggle with obtaining sufficient or restful sleep, which ideally should leave them rejuvenated rather than exhausted. Lack of sleep can escalate into severe health issues, including heart disease, hypertension, stroke and depression, due to its connection with these conditions. A research team from the University of South Australia has found a simple remedy for this problem. Their findings indicate a direct correlation between the quality of sleep at night and the structure of one’s daytime activities, especially the inclusion of physical activity.

This research tracked the daily activities and sleep habits of over 1,100 adults and 1,100 children, tweaking their daily routines to assess the effects on sleep quality. The findings demonstrated that those who engaged in more moderate to vigorous physical activity had an easier time falling asleep, enjoyed better sleep quality, and experienced lower levels of fatigue. While conventional wisdom often emphasizes pre-bedtime routines like reducing screen time, limiting food intake, and avoiding alcohol for better sleep, this study expands the perspective to include the entire day’s array of activities.

The research uncovered a link between the activities we engage in during the day and various sleep-related factors, including the quality of our sleep, sleep efficiency (the percentage of time spent in bed that is actually spent sleeping), the total duration of sleep, daytime tiredness, and bedtime decisions. Merely adjusting your bedtime to an earlier hour is not a guaranteed method to enhance the efficiency of your sleep.

The findings indicated that both children and adults could benefit from an increase in moderate to vigorous physical activity. They experienced reduced fatigue, fewer sleep disturbances, and improved sleep quality as a result. For adolescents, the current sleep guidelines advocate for a nightly rest period of 8 to 10 hours. Similarly, research identifies the optimal sleep duration for adults to be between 7 and 9 hours.

This highlights the significant effect our daytime conduct has on our night-time rest, underscoring the importance of an active lifestyle for better sleep. Securing a restful night of sleep is a common aspiration. If the solution lies in enhancing daily physical activity, this goal might be within easy reach for the many of us to attain.

To view the original scientific study click below:
Time use and dimensions of healthy sleep: A cross-sectional study of Australian children and adults