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Exercise and Sleep: Review Paper Summary

Hello everyone. I recently turned in a review paper on exercise and sleep that examined the 4 articles I’ve looked at in previous posts and 6 additional ones. This was a fun project to do and now I am going to give a summary of what the paper was about. I gave an introduction on why exercise and sleep were so important and what the guidelines were for these two factors. Appropriate exercise is given by the American College of Sports Medicine as 30 minutes of moderate exercise 3 days per week. The Center for Disease control and prevention established that adults need 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night. After the introduction I then reviewed the 10 articles and used this compilation to examine what a group of literature discovered about the effects of exercise on sleep. The articles I found fit well into three groups based on what population was being studied. These groups were: healthy, elderly, and cancer patients.

There were four articles that dealt with healthy subjects, three that researched elderly subjects, and three that examined subjects with various types of cancer. The first article dealing with healthy subjects showed that chronic vigorous exercise shows favorable results in sleep patterns in adolescents. The second found that vigorous late night exercise did not disturb sleep quality but did elevate heart rate. The third showed that exercise before bed did not disrupt sleep, but instead increased sleep quality and decreased time to get into deep sleep stages. And the fourth’s conclusion was that normal blood pressure patterns are more affected by physical activity performed in the morning.

The three studies on the elderly population were just as interesting. Elderly patients experience sleep problems commonly because of problems such as change in sleep patterns, arthritis, and osteoporosis. The first found that elderly patients can be helped sleep wise by a long term exercise program because it helps decrease night to night fluctuations in sleep. The second showed that if maintained, an aerobic training program can improve the sleep quality and assist the blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar of older adults. The third found that tai chi is an effective mode of exercise for the elderly who wish to improve their sleep in many different ways.

The last population was cancer patients. Cancer patients frequently experience sleep problems not only because of the disease but also the treatments they go through. This included breast, intestinal, nose, throat, lung, skin and various other types of cancer. The first study showed that exercise can aid sleep quantity and quality in those undergoing chemotherapy. The second study found that even simple home walking protocols can improve sleep quality and quality of life. The third showed that for multiple myeloma patients the effect of exercise seemed to be minimal on fatigue, sleep, and performance.

These articles did a great job showing just a portion of the research that has been devoted to how exercise and sleep are related. They have shown that exercise is not only beneficial for physical fitness, but how activity can impact the quality of rest. These articles have also shown valuable information such as: exercise cannot only improve sleep duration but also sleep quality, exercise can improve sleep in multiple populations, and different types of exercise can improve sleep. All of these articles point to the fact that exercise is beneficial in most cases and not negative in any of the cases.

I also mentioned some areas of future research that could be looked into based off of these articles. I said that instead of analyzing the effects of exercise on sleep, maybe researchers could analyze the effects of sleep on exercise. It could also be researched whether there is a dose-response relationship between exercise and sleep, to see if more exercise leads to better sleep quality or if there is a ceiling to the benefits. Another direction could be to continue examining the effects on different populations that commonly experience sleep problems.This is all for my summary of my review paper. I hope you enjoyed it and learned something about the effects of exercise on sleep!

Exercise and Sleep: Part 4

Hello all, welcome back to the final installment of our look at the effects of exercise on sleep. Today’s article continues our look at diseased populations. This article again looks at cancer patients with sleep problems. 37 participants were recruited for the exercise group and 35 were recruited for the control group. This exercise program 8 weeks and involved brisk walking 3 days a week for 30 minutes a day in the evening between 4:00 and 6:00. Patients kept a diary that they kept track of all their workouts. Sleep quality was measured using the PSQI which I described in the previous edition of the series. The PSQI score decreased, signifying improved sleep quality, significantly more for those in the control group. This shows that even walking around the house can help people with cancer sleep better! Even the little things count, so keep exercising and do your best!

Exercise and Sleep: Part 3

Hey there! For the third and fourth chapters of our look at exercise and sleep I am going to look at diseased populations. For today we’re going to look at a study published just a few months ago about patients with breast cancer. The purpose of this study was to discover the effects of exercise amount and type on sleep quality because sleep problems are common for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. 301 women older than 18 participated in this study. They were randomly assigned to one of three exercise groups: STAN (~30 mins of aerobic exercise), HIGH (~60 mins of aerobic exercise), or COMB (~60 mins of aerobic and resistance exercise). The guidelines used for the STAN group were from the ACSM and the HIGH group doubled these. Sleep quality was assessed 4 times though the chemo process with the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), a 19-item self report scale that examined 7 sleep components. These components are: sleep quality, latency, duration, efficiency, disturbances, medication use, and daytime dysfunction. About half of patients reported poor sleep quality at the beginning of the study.The results showed that the all 3 groups had significant improvements in most of the 7 components. The HIGH group showed a greater improvement in sleep quality. The COMB group showed improvement over the HIGH group in sleep quality, duration, and sleep efficiency. This is big news for women with breast cancer because it shows that any amount of exercise can help combat the sleep troubles that come along with chemotherapy. To all those fighting cancer, don’t give up and I wish you the best exercise and sleep you’ve ever had in your life. KEEP FIGHTING.

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.

Exercise and Sleep: Part 1

Hello, my name is Alex Elsen and thanks for reading! Today will be the first of a few blog posts about the effects of exercise on sleep. I recently found a research article composed by a University in Finland. These researchers sought to see the effects of vigorous late night exercise on sleep quality. The common view is that exercise causes arousal which will decrease sleep quality, but this has not often been scientifically tested. The subjects were 11 young adults, 7 men and 4 women, about 26 years old. The subjects were observed for two days: a day where they exercised before bed and a control night with no exercise. On the exercise day the subjects performed a 35 minute workout that ended about 2 hours before sleep time. Sleep quality was measured with both objective and subjective means. The objective means were tracking brain activity, heart activity, and sleep movement. The subjective mean was a questionnaire. The results of the study showed that vigorous exercise around 2 hours before bed did not disturb sleep quality between the two days. So, for those who say they don’t have time to workout during the day, feel free to work out really hard before bed and not worry about being able to go to sleep. Until next time try not to end up like this guy.

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