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National Sleep Foundation poll finds exercise key to good sleep
Date:3/4/2013

ng, and high blood pressure. It also increases the risk for heart disease and stroke. More than four in ten non-exercisers (44%) exhibit a moderate risk of sleep apnea, compared to between one in four and one in five of light exercisers (26%), moderate exercisers (22%) and vigorous exercisers (19%).

"The poll data suggest that the risk of sleep apnea in exercisers is half that of non-exercisers," says Christopher Kline, PhD, poll task force member. "People with sleep apnea are often overweight. Exercise can be part of the treatment."

Less time sitting is associated with better sleep and health

Separate from exercise, spending less time sitting may improve sleep quality and health. Those who sit for less than eight hours per day sitting are significantly more likely to say they have "very good" sleep quality than those who sit for eight hours or more (22%-25% compared to 12%-15%). Furthermore, significantly more of those who spend less than 10 hours per day sitting mention excellent health, compared to those who spend 10 hours or more sitting (25-30% compared to 16%).

"This poll is the first to show that simply spending too much time sitting might negatively affect our sleep quality," says Prof. Marco Tulio de Mello, poll task force member. "In addition to exercise, standing at your desk, getting up for short breaks, and moving around as much as possible are important healthy behaviors to include in our lives."

Exercise at any time of day appears to be good for sleep

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.

This finding contradicts long-standing "sleep hygiene" tips that advise everyone not to exercise close to bedtime. The National Sleep Foundation has amended its sleep recommendations for "normal" sleepers to enco
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Contact: Jennifer Cowher Williams
jwilliams@sleepfoundation.org
202-631-1205
National Sleep Foundation
Source:Eurekalert

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