Morning walk can give you a good night’s sleep

Activities such as household and childcare work associated with poor sleep habits


Ians June 07, 2015
Researchers measured the association between certain types of activities and typical amount of sleep. PHOTO: FILE

NEW YORK: If you are having sleep problems, walking a little can go a long way in resolving them, suggests a new research involving over 400,000 adults. The researchers identified that physical activities, such as walking, as well as aerobics/calisthenics, biking, gardening, golfing, running, weight-lifting and yoga/pilates are associated with better sleep habits, compared to no activity.

In contrast, the study found that other types of physical activity such as household and childcare work are associated with increased cases of poor sleep habits. “Not only does this study show that those who get exercise simply by walking are more likely to have better sleep habits but these effects are even stronger for more purposeful activities, such as running and yoga, and even gardening and golf,” said lead researcher Michael Grandner from Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in the US.

“It was also interesting that people who receive most of their activity from housework and childcare were more likely to experience insufficient sleep,” Grandner said. Physical activity is already well associated with healthy sleep, but the new study yields insight into whether or not specific types of physical activities can impact sleep quality.

Using data on sleep and physical activities of 429,110 adults, the researchers measured whether or not each of 10 types of activities was associated with typical amount of sleep, relative to both no activity and to walking.

Compared to those who reported that they did not get physical activity in the past month, all types of activity except for household/childcare were associated with a higher likelihood of sufficient sleep. The results of the study are scheduled to be presented at SLEEP 2015, the 29th annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, to be held at Seattle in the US from June 6 to 10. 

Published in The Express Tribune, June 8th,  2015.

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