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Need Better Sleep? Try These Specific Physical Activities

Need Better Sleep? Try These Specific Physical Activities

According to new research, there are numerous forms of exercise that can help you sleep better, compared to not exercising at all.

Presented at SLEEP 2015, researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania shared their findings, showing that physical activities such as biking, golfing, running, weight-lifting, yoga/Pilates, gardening, aerobics/calisthenics, and walking, all lead to better shut-eye.

Data on physical activities and sleep were used from a total of 429,110 adults as the researchers analyzed whether 10 types of physical activities had an impact on the amount of sleep each participant received.

The participants were asked what type of physical activity they spent the most time doing in the past month, and also asked how much sleep they got in a typical 24-hour period. Since previous studies showed that people who get less than 7 hours are at greater risk for poor health and functioning, the study evaluated whether people who reported specific activities were more likely to also report sufficient sleep.

Compared to those who reported that they did not get physical activity in the past month, all types of activity except for household chores/childcare were linked with overall poor sleep.

When compared to just walking, aerobics/calisthenics, biking, gardening, golf, running, weight-lifting and yoga/Pilates were each associated with fewer cases of insufficient snooze.

“Not only does this study show that those who get exercise simply by walking are more likely to have better sleep habits, but these effects are even stronger for more purposeful activities, such as running and yoga, and even gardening and golf,” said lead study investigator Dr. Michael Grandner. “ It was also interesting that people who receive most of their activity from housework and childcare were more likely to experience insufficient sleep — we know that home and work demands are some of the main reasons people lose sleep.”

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