We already knew that working out could improve our overall health, but who knew that it could help us get a better night’s sleep also. A study, published in the Journal Mental Health and Physical Activity, found that people who exercised at a moderate to vigorous level for at least 150 minutes a week had a 65 percent better sleep quality than people who exercised less. The study included health data from more than 3,000 men and women between ages 18 and 85 who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
According to study researcher Brad Cardinal, a professor of exercise science at Oregon State University:
“We were using the physical activity guidelines set forth for cardiovascular health, but it appears that those guidelines might have a spillover effect to other areas of health. Increasingly, the scientific evidence is encouraging as regular physical activity may serve as a non-pharmaceutical alternative to improve sleep.”
Why is this good news? Poor sleep quality has been linked to increased inflammation, which can lead to heart disease and stroke, high blood pressure, and increased blood glucose levels and insulin resistance among people with Type 2 diabetes. So if your sleep has been off lately, looks like all you need is a few more days at the gym. Sounds like a win-win situation.