Exercise and sleep

Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, University Health Network, Toronto Western Hospital Applied and Interventional Research Division, Canada
Sleep Medicine Reviews (Impact Factor: 8.51). 09/2000; 4(4):387-402. DOI: 10.1053/smrv.2000.0110
Source: PubMed


This paper reviews the literature on the association between exercise and sleep. The epidemiological and experimental evidence for whether or not acute and chronic exercise promote sleep is discussed, as well as moderating factors and agendas for future directions of study. The expectation that exercise will benefit sleep can partly be attributed to traditional hypotheses that sleep serves energy conservation, body restoration or thermoregulatory functions, all of which have guided much of the research in this field. Exercise is a complex activity that can be beneficial to general well-being but may also stress the body. Differences in the exercise protocols studied (e.g. aerobic or anaerobic, intensity, duration) and interactions between individual characteristics (e.g. fitness, age and gender) cloud the current experimental evidence supporting a sleep-enhancing effect of exercise. In addition, the tendency to study changes in small groups of good sleepers may also underestimate the efficacy of exercise for promoting sleep. Athough only moderate effect sizes have been noted, meta-analytical techniques have shown that exercise increased total sleep time and delayed REM sleep onset (10 min), increased slow-wave sleep (SWS) and reduced REM sleep (2-5 min). The sleep-promoting efficacy of exercise in normal and clinical populations has yet to be established empirically.

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    • "Partinen, 2002), with the exception of sleep apnoea, which is more prevalent in men (Kronholm et al., 2009). The second demographic covariate, age, has been found to correlate negatively with perceived health (in Finland, Aalto et al., 1999) and sleep quality (Driver & Taylor, 2000) but not with mental health (Aalto et al., 1999). There is additional evidence that different age groups respond differently to exposure to nature (Barton & Pretty, 2010; Maas et al., 2009). "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: A body of evidence shows that both physical activity and exposure to nature are connected to improved general and mental health. Experimental studies have consistently found short term positive effects of physical activity in nature compared with built environments. This study explores whether these benefits are also evident in everyday life, perceived over repeated contact with nature. The topic is important from the perspectives of city planning, individual well-being, and public health. Methods: National survey data (n = 2,070) from Finland was analysed using structural regression analyses. Perceived general health, emotional well-being, and sleep quality were regressed on the weekly frequency of physical activity indoors, outdoors in built environments, and in nature. Socioeconomic factors and other plausible confounders were controlled for. Results: Emotional well-being showed the most consistent positive connection to physical activity in nature, whereas general health was positively associated with physical activity in both built and natural outdoor settings. Better sleep quality was weakly connected to frequent physical activity in nature, but the connection was outweighed by other factors. Conclusion: The results indicate that nature provides an added value to the known benefits of physical activity. Repeated exercise in nature is, in particular, connected to better emotional well-being.
    11/2014; DOI:10.1111/aphw.12031
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    • "The results showed that PA level was not associated with night-time recovery, although regular PA has consistently been associated with better sleep [54]. However, previous findings indicate that PA in the evening may delay the beginning of recovery. "
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    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to investigate how physical activity (PA), cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF), and body composition are associated with heart rate variability (HRV)-based indicators of stress and recovery on workdays. Additionally, we evaluated the association of objectively measured stress with self-reported burnout symptoms. Participants of this cross-sectional study were 81 healthy males (age range 26-40 y). Stress and recovery on workdays were measured objectively based on HRV recordings. CRF and anthropometry were assessed in laboratory conditions. The level of PA was based on a detailed PA interview (MET index [MET-h/d]) and self-reported activity class. PA, CRF, and body composition were significantly associated with levels of stress and recovery on workdays. MET index (P < 0.001), activity class (P = 0.001), and CRF (P = 0.019) were negatively associated with stress during working hours whereas body fat percentage (P = 0.005) was positively associated. Overall, 27.5% of the variance of total stress on workdays (P = 0.001) was accounted for by PA, CRF, and body composition. Body fat percentage and body mass index were negatively associated with night-time recovery whereas CRF was positively associated. Objective work stress was associated (P = 0.003) with subjective burnout symptoms. PA, CRF, and body composition are associated with HRV-based stress and recovery levels, which needs to be taken into account in the measurement, prevention, and treatment of work-related stress. The HRV-based method used to determine work-related stress and recovery was associated with self-reported burnout symptoms, but more research on the clinical importance of the methodology is needed.
    Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology 04/2014; 9(1):16. DOI:10.1186/1745-6673-9-16 · 1.62 Impact Factor
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    • "Due to the nature of persisting sleep deprivation after childbirth, a regular home-based intervention program is necessary in order to improve sleep quality of the mothers. Wide-spectrum epidemiological studies have suggested physical exercise as a non-medical intervention to ameliorate sleep disorders in order to improve sleep quality (Driver and Taylor, 2000); Although there are different exercise options it seems that activities that induce muscular relaxation and relieve fatigue are more appropriate than other aerobic exercises. Pilates exercises have gained significant popularity among the general population in the past a few years (von Sperlingde Souza and Brum Vieira, 2006). "
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    ABSTRACT: Prolonged poor sleeping quality can decrease women's ability to perform their maternal and family duties after delivery. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of a Pilates training program on sleep quality in primigravida postpartum women in a randomized clinical trial. Eighty postpartum women were randomly divided into intervention and control groups (n = 40). Home-based 30-min Pilate's exercises were started 72 h after the delivery and performed five times per week for consecutive 8 weeks. Sleep quality was assessed by the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) prior to the intervention and 4th and 8th weeks afterwards. The intervention group showed a significant improvement in subjective sleep quality, sleep latency, daytime dysfunction and global PSQI score (P < 0.001); however, there was no difference in sleep duration, habitual sleep efficiency and sleep disturbance between the groups. In conclusion, Pilates exercises appeared to improve sleep quality in primigravida postpartum women.
    Journal of bodywork and movement therapies 04/2014; 18(2):190-9. DOI:10.1016/j.jbmt.2013.09.007
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