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sleep and exercise

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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A study showed that (1):

  • combined aerobic-resistance exercise can improve sleep quality in patients with insomnia as well as increase subjective sleep quality and actual sleep duration, and decrease daytime dysfunction due to sleeping problems

A longitudinal study investigated the relationship between physical activity over a 10-year period and current symptoms of insomnia, daytime sleepiness and estimated sleep duration in adults aged 39–67 years (2):

  • compared with than persistently non-active subjects (after adjusting for age, sex, body mass index, smoking history and study centre), participants who were persistently active were less likely to report
    • difficulties initiating sleep (OR 0.60, 95% CI 0.45–0.78)
    • a short sleep duration of ≤6 hours/night (OR 0.71, 95% CI 0.59–0.85)
    • a long sleep of ≥9 hours/night (OR 0.53, 95% CI 0.33–0.84)
    • dayytime sleepiness and difficulties maintaining sleep were not related to physical activity status
  • study authors concluded that:
    • physically active people have a lower risk of some insomnia symptoms and extreme sleep durations, both long and short


  • Dadgostar H, Basharkhah A, Ghalehbandi MF, Kashaninasab F. An Investigation on the Effect of Exercise on Insomnia Symptoms. Int J Prev Med. 2023 Feb 18;14:16.
  • Bjornsdottir E, Thorarinsdottir EH, Lindberg E, et al Association between physical activity over a 10-year period and current insomnia symptoms, sleep duration and daytime sleepiness: a European population-based study BMJ Open 2024;14:e067197. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2022-067197

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