The Type of Exercise You Get Affects Sleep

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Poor sleep can worsen diabetes symptoms, but burning enough calories may not be the only factor to consider when it comes to how exercise affects slumber.

Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania found that certain physical activities were associated with better sleep habits than others - and that most of these activities are more simple than one might think.

"Although previous research has shown that lack of exercise is associated with poor sleep, the results of this study were surprising," said Dr. Michael Grandner, study leader.

Walking works, chores don't

Analyzing data on over 420,000 adults from the 2013 Behavioral Risk Factor Survey, researchers measured how different activities were related to sleep quality.

Activities like aerobics, biking, gardening, weight-lifting, yoga, pilates and golf were all associated with better sleep than no activity at all, while walking was also linked to a lower incidence of sleep deprivation.

People who got their exercise from household chores and childcare, on the other hand, were more likely to have insufficient sleep, the researchers reported - suggesting that while home-based demands may be physically taxing, they are actually associated with poorer sleep quality and duration.

"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," Grandner said. "Lab studies show that lack of sleep is associated with poor physical and mental performance, and this study shows us that this is consistent with real-world data as well."

Source: University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

 
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