THURSDAY, Dec. 1 (HealthDay News) -- A new study suggests regular physical activity might encourage better shut-eye: People who met national exercise guidelines reported better sleep and less daytime fatigue than those who didn't.
The research doesn't confirm that exercise directly leads to improved rest, and it's possible there may be another explanation for the apparent connection between exercise and sleep. Still, the findings are mostly consistent with previous research, said Matthew P. Buman, an assistant professor of exercise and wellness at Arizona State University who's familiar with the study.
But if you think a daily walk or jog will clear up your sleep problems, that might be a bit too optimistic.
"In general, the relationship between physical activity and sleep is moderate," Buman said.
More than one-third of U.S. adults have trouble falling asleep at night or staying alert during the day, according to background information in the study. Inadequate sleep has been linked to depression, cardiovascular disease and other health problems.
The new study, led by researchers at Oregon State University, looked at statistics from a U.S. health survey conducted from 2005 to 2006. The researchers focused on more than 2,600 men and women -- aged 18 to 85 -- who measured their activity levels and answered questions about sleep.
All wore accelerometers, devices that measure physical activity, for a week.
The researchers adjusted their statistics so they wouldn't be thrown off by unusually high or low numbers of people of certain ages, weight, health condition, smoking history or other factors.
The researchers then determined how many participants met or exceeded national exercise guidelines by getting at least 150 minutes a week of moderate exercise or 75 minutes a week of vigorous exercise or a combination of both.
Those who met the guideline
All rights reserved