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.