Sunday, October 19, 2014

Keeping Fit Helps You Sleep Better As You Age

Singapore Track greats - C Kunalan and Glory Barnabas by richseow
I don't know about you, I've been a terrible sleeper for as long as I can remember. Even when I was training a lot more when I was still racing. In fact I found that when I trained too hard, I found it harder to fall asleep. I still am a very light sleeper and once I get up (even in the middle of the night), I usually can't fall back to sleep.

What I read though keeps me going at maintaining whatever fitness I have left. This is in hope that I can sleep better as I get older as more than 8000 adults tracked over a 35-year period showed that those who maintained their cardiovascular fitness as they grew older slept better.

Researchers noted that as one passes 50 years of age, their cardiovascular fitness can decline quickly.

Previous other studies and anecdotal evidence have suggested that exercise helps you sleep better. Most studies used a questionnaire to find out about subjects' sleep patterns. This particular study used a treadmill test as an objective measure rather than just relying on subjects' self reporting.

Every minute decline on the treadmill test endurance led to a 1.7% increase in sleep complaints. No surprises, the researchers concluded that those who kept fit (cardiovascular fitness) during middle age help protect against the onset of sleep complaints made to the doctor.

Well, more reason for you (and I) to keep exercising.


Dishman RK, Sui XM et al (2014). Decline In Cardiovascular Fitness And Odds Of Incident Sleep Complaints. Med Sci Sp Ex. DOI: 1249/MSS.00000000000000506.

*Picture by Spyros Papaspyropoulos from Flickr

Surely you don't wanna sleep like this

No comments:

Post a Comment