How can I get better sleep? How can I get more sleep? Why am I so tired? Have you asked yourself questions like these? If so, you’re not alone.
In 2014 (the last year the data was updated/published) The Center For Disease Control reported that 35.2% of Americans averaged less than the recommended minimum of 7 hours of sleep nightly.
They also reported, “Adults who were short sleepers (less than 7 hours per 24-hour period) were more likely to report 10 chronic health conditions compared to those who got enough sleep (7 or more hours per 24-hour period)”.
Those chronic health conditions were heart attack, coronary heart disease, stroke, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cancer, arthritis, depression, chronic kidney disease, and diabetes. While their studies do not reflex a cause and effect situation, it definitely underscores the importance of sleep to overall health. Learn more about the sleep statistics here.
While a little over a third of Americans aren’t getting enough sleep according to the CDC, the National Sleep Foundation reported (during the same year) that 45% of Americans reported a negative impact in their daily activities caused by insufficient sleep.
Additionally, the National Sleep Foundation reported the finding that overall health was directly associated with sleep quality. This suggests that increasing both the quantity and the quality of your sleep can have positive benefits for your health.
In his 2005 paper, “Effects of Exercise on Sleep”, Shawn D. Youngstedt wrote, “Historically, perhaps no daytime behavior has been more closely associated with better sleep than exercise. The assumption that exercise promotes sleep has also been central to various hypotheses about the functions of sleep.” He goes on in his abstract to state, with regard to other means of improving one’s quality and quantity of sleep that, “Other behavioral/cognitive treatments are more effective for chronic insomnia treatment, but difficult and costly to deliver. By contrast, exercise could be a healthy, safe, inexpensive, and simple means of improving sleep.”
So what’s the bottom line here?
If you have trouble getting enough sleep, or if the sleep you’re getting isn’t a sufficient quality, exercise may just be the “healthy, safe, inexpensive, and simple means” of overcoming your sleep problems.
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