While you may know that that physical activity improves sleep quantity and quality, new research indicates that the choice of activity plays a role. Studies have found that people who get less than 7 hours of sleep are at greater risk for poor heath and functioning and that physical activity is associated with healthy sleep. Researchers recently teased out the differences between specific types of activity and sleep quality.
The investigators used data on sleep and activity from 429,110 adults from the 2013 Behavioral Risk Surveillance System, a survey collected every year by the CDC. The respondents gave information on amount of sleep and types of physical activities they engaged in.
Data analysis showed that while walking was beneficial, activities like aerobics/calisthenics, bicycling, running, weightlifting, and yoga were even more likely to be associated with healthy sleep.
"Not only does this study show that those who get exercise simply by walking are 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."
"Sleep, fitness, and diet are the three pillars of health. When any one of them is out of balance with the other, the body is not able to do what it needs to do to maintain optimal functioning. That also means that these three pillars all support each other."
How has increasing your physical activity levels affected your sleep? Can you or your loved ones relate to the findings of this investigation?