Morning Dilemma: Better Sleep Or Exercise?

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Morning Dilemma: Better Sleep Or Exercise?
Morning Dilemma: Better Sleep Or Exercise?

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Morning dilemma: better sleep or exercise?

Exercise and sleep are two healthy activities that compete with each other for our time on weekday mornings. As the time spent on exercise increases, sleep time decreases among those who get up early for work, according to the study authors in Sleep Health. However, some physical activity during the day, as opposed to not doing it, improves sleep.

Morning dilemma: better sleep or exercise?
Morning dilemma: better sleep or exercise?

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Exercise and sleep are two healthy activities that compete with each other for our time on weekday mornings. As the time spent on exercise increases, sleep time decreases among those who get up early for work, according to the study authors in Sleep Health. However, some physical activity during the day, as opposed to not doing it, improves sleep.

"Sleep research has focused on how sleep deprivation affects overall health, but at some point we started to wonder what people do over time when they are awake," said study lead author Dr. Mathias Basner. Basner of the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine in Philadelphia.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society recommend seven hours of sleep per night, but more than a third of American adults say they sleep less.

“We all have 24 hours a day, but for people who only sleep five or six hours, are they healthy or sit in front of the TV eating chips? We tried to identify actions that could be exchanged for increased sleep,”Basner said.

The American Time Use Survey analyzed data from about 48,000 working men and women surveyed on weekdays between 2003 and 2016. As part of the survey, participants took notes of how they had spent their time in the previous 24 hours.

The researchers found that most of the time people were working or commuting to / from work; about 17% said they trained. Overall, long hours of work were associated with both short sleep and low exercise performance. At the same time, those who spent time training, slept on average 15 minutes less. In fact, sleep time has decreased due to the increased time spent in physical activity.

The strongest link between exercise and sleep was observed among people who exercised from 6 to 8 am or 9 to 11 pm. Hour morning or evening workouts were not associated with significant reductions in sleep.

A link was also found between household income, educational level and sleep time. In general, with higher earnings and higher education, sleep lasts less and the likelihood of exercising is higher.

Scientists were surprised to find that, contrary to advice not to exercise before bed, with late night physical activity, sleep was sufficient. Exercising throughout the day, even just before bedtime, can help you fall asleep deeper or earlier. Larks are probably better off exercising before work, and night owls better.

“The problem is that we can't tell people to work less, but we can look at bedtime habits, which are usually watching TV, or in the morning, which are commuting to work and getting in order. This study shows that it is possible to exercise and get enough sleep,”explained Mathias Basner.

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