It’s commonly known that getting enough sleep is essential to a healthy lifestyle, but new research suggests that exercise can help counter the harmful effects of poor sleep.
Today, we’ll dive deep into the science behind these findings and learn how to better care for your body.
Why does sleep matter in the first place? Sleep is the time our bodies use to recover and rejuvenate from the day. It’s a vital bodily function that allows us to replenish our energy, repair tissues and cells, and clear our minds. When we don’t get the recommended amount of sleep (around 7-8 hours for adults), we start to see negative effects on our mood, cognitive function, and overall health. On the other hand, when we get too much sleep (10 or more hours), studies suggest that we may be at a higher risk for obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other health issues.
But why is physical activity so important in combatting these negative effects? Exercise helps regulate our sleep-wake cycle. When we engage in enough physical activity, our bodies enter deeper sleep stages, allowing us to feel more rested and rejuvenated upon waking. Additionally, exercise increases blood flow to the brain, improving cognitive function and mood. This means that even if you don’t get enough sleep, engaging in physical activity can help offset these detrimental effects.
It has long been known that both sufficient sleep and exercise can contribute to prolonged life expectancy. However, using accelerometry, this new study is the first to examine the joint effects of physical activity and sleep duration on mortality risk.
The study was published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. It included 92,221 adults aged 40 to 73 years who were enrolled in the UK Biobank cohort and who wore an accelerometer wristband for one week between 2013 and 2015.
Researchers examined how physical activity influenced sleep’s impact on mortality. First, they looked at the volume of activity, then at the intensity of the activity. All outcomes were adjusted for factors that may have influenced results, including sex, age, ethnicity, education level, deprivation, body mass index, diet, alcohol intake, smoking, and shift work.
It was found that in participants with low amounts of volume of activity, short and long amounts of sleep were associated with 16% and 37% raised risks of all-cause death. In those with intermediate amounts of exercise, only short amounts of sleep were detrimental, with a 41% raised risk of all-cause death. Those who had short amounts of sleep with a low volume of exercise had a 69% elevated risk, which disappeared when exercise increased to moderate or high volumes.
Study author Dr. Jihui Zhang concluded, “Our findings suggest that health promotion efforts targeting both physical activity and sleep duration may be more effective in preventing or delaying premature death in middle-aged and older adults than focusing on one behavior alone. In an ideal scenario, people would always get healthy amounts of both sleep and physical activity. However, our study indicates that getting sufficient exercise may partially offset the detrimental impact of missing a good night’s sleep.”
This study helps to show a clear and proven link between sleep and physical activity. While oversleeping or getting too little sleep can be detrimental to our health, physical activity can counteract some of these negative effects. Engaging in regular, moderate exercise can lead to a more relaxed mind and deeper sleep.
By placing importance on both good sleep hygiene and physical activity, we can prioritize our health and longevity. Remember, self-care takes consistency, but it is worth the effort.
Promoting Healthy Sleep
In today’s fast-paced world, many people struggle with sleep. However, the consequences of a lack of good sleep can be much more severe than just tiredness and diminished performance. Studies show that a good night’s sleep can help to support blood sugar levels, maintain healthy body weight, control mood, and keep cardiovascular health in check.
Sleep Sure plus can help reduce these effects by helping to promote optimal sleep and restfulness through a variety of ingredients. One of the most important ingredients included in this unique formula is melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that is normally released at night and is essential for the regulation of the circadian rhythm (the internal clock of the body).
Sleep Sure Plus also contains valerian, one of the best natural ingredients for promoting rest and relaxation. These two essential ingredients are joined by another 6, which all work together to provide a better quality of sleep.