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Published March 04, 2013, 11:30 PM

Hot Topics: Exercise, less sitting time linked to better sleep

NEW YORK – Insomniacs looking for a good night’s sleep may want to hit the treadmill, take a walk or play a game of golf or tennis because a new report released on Monday shows exercise promotes good sleep and the more vigorous the workout the better.

By: Reuters, INFORUM

NEW YORK – Insomniacs looking for a good night’s sleep may want to hit the treadmill, take a walk or play a game of golf or tennis because a new report released on Monday shows exercise promotes good sleep and the more vigorous the workout the better.

Just 10 minutes of exercise a day could make a difference in the duration and quality of sleep, the survey by the nonprofit National Sleep Foundation showed.

“We found that exercise and great sleep go together, hand in hand,” Max Hirshkowitz, a sleep researcher and the chair of the poll task force, said in an interview.

“We also found a step-wise increase in how vigorous the quality is, in terms of how much you exercise. So if you say you exercise a lot, we found better sleep quality. For people who don’t exercise at all, we found more sleep problems.”

Earlier research studies have shown the impact of exercise on sleep, but Hirshkowitz, who is a professor at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, said the survey is the first to detail the benefits of exercise in a nationally representative poll of this size.

People who described themselves as exercisers reported better sleep than their more sedentary counterparts, although the amount of sleep, an average of just fewer than seven hours on weeknight, was the same.

More than 75 percent of the 1,000 people questioned in the Internet and telephone poll who described themselves as exercisers said they slept well, compared to just more than half of people who did no exercise.

Very active people reported fewer sleep problems, dozed off quicker and needed less shut eye a night to function at their best during the day.

Sitting more than eight hours daily also had a negative impact on sleep, according to the poll.

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