How Certain Exercises Lead to Better Sleep


If you’re having trouble sleeping, you might just not be using your body enough to get tired. (Photo: Matthew Brookes/Trunk Archives)

If you’re doing it right, you will probably spend a third of your life sleeping, or at least trying to sleep. And unless you’re some kind of super-driven, workaholic, go-go-go type who treats the saying “sleep is the cousin of death” as a motto for life, chances are you enjoy a good night’s rest. Science knows your body and mind do. Now science may know what types of exercise can help assure that once your head hits the pillow, it doesn’t rise until your alarm clock (or doctor, mother, significant other, dog, crying baby) says so.

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine recently released the findings of a study conducted on 429,110 adults in which survey respondents were asked what type of physical activity they spent the most time doing the past month and how many hours per 24 hour cycle they slept. The results? The more intensely you exercise, the better you sleep. In particular, calisthenics, biking, gardening, golfing, running, weightlifting, yoga, and Pilates were all connected to fewer instances of inadequate sleep. Even walking made the cut.

The study also found one interesting phenomenon: People who spend most of their daily activity on household chores and childcare activities experienced higher instances of inadequate sleep. That would seem to explain another phenomenon: desperate housewives.

By Samuel Blackstone

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