The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Institute have published a new study in the journal Sleep Medicine that suggests you should be more active during sleep.
The study found that more than 80% of Americans sleep well when they do.
“The new study provides a much clearer picture of the effects of physical activity on sleep quality,” said Dr. James Bouchard, chief of sleep medicine at Harvard Medical School.
“People who sleep better are likely to sleep longer, and they may be less prone to fall asleep later.
It’s time to do more to encourage the sleep that will keep us healthy, happy, and productive.”
Researchers used a series of questionnaires to determine the participants’ sleep patterns during the week and in the morning.
They also asked about their levels of physical and emotional exhaustion.
The data showed that physical activity was associated with increased sleep quality.
“We saw a reduction in fatigue, as well as a higher level of self-reported sleepiness,” Bouchar said.
“People who were more active tended to be more fatigued and less able to fall into deep sleep, which is why the association was so striking.”
People who exercised more were also more likely to report a sense of well-being during the day and night.
“We also found that people who reported feeling better in the day tended to report higher levels of wellness in the evening, which may explain why exercise has been associated with better mood, as opposed to sleep quality and fatigue,” Boucher said.
The research was done in partnership with Harvard University and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), the National Institutes of Health.
It was published online May 24 in the Journal of Sleep Research.
The American Academy in Sleep Medicine is a nonprofit association of more than 1,500 sleep researchers and medical doctors, focusing on improving sleep and health in the U.S. and abroad.
Follow the group on Twitter @AASleep.