Exercise for better sleep

People who exercise report a better night’s sleep than those who don’t workout, according to results from a new poll.

The poll, conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, found that people who said they engaged in light, moderate or vigorous physical activity had “a good night’s sleep” nearly every weeknight.

Vigorous (running, cycling, swimming), moderate (yoga, weight lifting) and light (walking) exercisers reported higher overall sleep quality (83 percent, 77 percent and 76 percent, respectively) than non-exercisers (56 percent), according to the poll.

All four categories reported sleeping an average of about 6 hours, 51 minutes on workdays and 7 hours, 37 minutes on non-workdays.

More than two-thirds of vigorous exercisers said they rarely or never had symptoms associated with insomnia (waking too early and not falling back asleep, difficulty falling asleep).

Half of non-exercisers, on the other hand, reported waking up during the night and a quarter had difficulty falling asleep.

Other interesting findings:

-51 percent of exercisers (regardless of exercise level), perceive their sleep quality to improve on days they exercise.

-50 percent of vigorous exercisers report having no problems maintaining enthusiasm to get things done. Of non-exercisers, 33 percent report no problems.

-Non-exercisers take the longest to fall asleep (26.3 minutes), followed by light exercisers (22.6 minutes), moderate exercisers (20.5 minutes) and vigorous exercisers (16.6 minutes).

-Non-exercisers consume an average of 5 caffeinated beverages on a workday, significantly more than their exercising counterparts (vigorous: 3.1 beverages, moderate: 3.3 beverages and light: 3.6 beverages).

You can check out the summary of findings here.

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