Healthy Lifestyle Tip: Exercise Key to Good Sleep
Self-described exercisers report better sleep than self-described non-exercisers even though they say they sleep the same amount each night (6 hours and 51 minutes, average on weeknights). Vigorous, moderate, and light exercisers are significantly more likely to say “I had a good night’s sleep” every night or almost every night on work nights than non-exercisers.
“If you are inactive, adding a 10 minute walk every day could improve your likelihood of a good night’s sleep,” says Max Hirshkowitz, Ph.D., poll task force chair. “Making this small change and gradually working your way up to more intense activities like running or swimming could help you sleep better.”
Those who report exercising close to bedtime and earlier in the day do not demonstrate a difference in self-reported sleep quality. In fact, for most people exercise at any time seems to be better for sleep than no exercise at all.
“Exercise is beneficial to sleep. It’s time to revise global recommendations for improving sleep and put exercise — any time — at the top of our list for healthy sleep habits,” says Dr. Barbara Phillips, poll task force member.