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Exercise could help beat bedtime blues, new study reveals

A new study emphasises that sleep quality is linked to how people structure their day and exercise plays an important role

The study found that daytime activities are tied to different aspects of our sleep, from sleep quality to sleep efficiency.(Pexels)

By Team Lounge

LAST PUBLISHED 04.03.2024  |  04:29 PM IST

It’s well-known that getting a good night’s rest is crucial to maintaining optimal health. But often people struggle to sleep well during the night. Now, a new study emphasises that sleep quality is linked to how people structure their day and exercise plays a key role.

The study, conducted by researchers from the University of South Australia, found that children and adults with higher levels of moderate to vigorous physical activity had less troubled sleep, reduced tiredness, and better sleep quality. According to the researchers, adults need eight hours of sleep and children require about eight to 11 hours of sleep every night.

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When people think about sleep quality, they often focus on making changes such as avoiding screens, not eating too much, and avoiding alcohol. However, the researchers looked beyond this. For the study, the researchers examined different components of time use and sleep among 1,168 children (average age 12 years) and 1,360 adults (their parents, average age 44 years, mainly mothers), the university’s press statement revealed.

"What we found is that our daytime activities are tied to different aspects of our sleep, from sleep quality, sleep efficiency (how much of the time you spend in bed when you are actually asleep), and the overall amount of sleep we get, to levels of tiredness during the day, and when we choose to go to bed," study author Lisa Matricciani said in the statement. The findings were published in the journal Sleep Health.

Matricciani pointed out that sometimes activities such as playing video games late into the night could affect sleep but other times, it’s how people spend their day. The results found that sleep quality increased with the inclusion of moderate to vigorous physical activity in the daily schedule. Moreover, only making more time for sleep predicted more restless sleep.

"Everyone wants a good night's sleep. If it's simply a matter of being more active during the day, then it may be a relatively achievable goal for most of us," Matricciani added in the statement.

Previous studies have also shown an association between sleep quality and exercise. For instance, a January 2023 study published in Scientific Reports, showed that replacing sedentary behaviour with moderate-to-intense exercise improved sleep quality.

Also read: How lack of sleep is linked to depressive symptoms