Health Tip – Nov. 26 – Why Exercise Isn’t a Sleeping Pill
Dee Dee – Health Tip
Regular exercise can contribute to sound sleep, but if you start an exercise program don’t expect immediate results. A study at Northwestern University found that at first aerobic exercise may be no help at all for people with insomnia. In fact, if you exercise during the day and then don’t sleep that night, you’re likely to feel too exhausted to hop on the treadmill the next day, the investigators reported.
The research team analyzed data from a 2010 clinical trial showing that exercise improved sleep, mood and vitality over 16 weeks in middle-age to older adults with insomnia. They also looked at daily sleep data from 11 women ages 57 to 70. They found that regular long-term exercise promotes sound sleep, but that a poor night’s sleep discourages exercise.
The researchers noted that earlier studies showing that exercise promotes sound sleep were done with people who had no trouble sleeping. Bottom line: the analysis revealed that people with insomnia sleep better if they exercise, but they have to persist through the initial phases instead of giving up simply because the exercise effect didn’t kick in immediately.