Exercise and Sleep: Part 2

Hello all! For today’s installment of our look at exercise and sleep we will examine an article from an University in Switzerland. The purpose was to investigate whether chronic vigorous exercising is related to improved sleep and psychological functioning in adolescents. The reason for this study is that adolescence is where sleep deprivation begins. Even though adolescents still need around 9 hours of sleep per night, they normally only get around 7.5! 434 students about 17 years old were recruited and split into two groups: athletes and controls.The athletes group had an unbelievable average exercise time of 17 hours per week! The control group was still very active with an average of 4 hours per week. The effects of the exercise was determined by subjects completing a week long sleep log and several questionnaires that included: psychological functioning, stress level, and sleep related personality traits. Results showed that the athlete group had higher scores for mood and sleep quality. Athletes also had shortened time to fall asleep, a smaller number of wakings after falling asleep, higher concentration during the day, lower tiredness during the day, and lower scores for depression and anxiety. Athletes showed lower scores for depressive symptoms and anxiety as well. Now it is unrealistic to expect people to work out 4 hours per week much less 17 but I think that a message can still be taken home from this article. It is not explicitly shown in this article but the more vigorous exercise you do, the closer to these results you get. So in the end, how you work can in fact impact how you rest! Keep working and sleeping hard.

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