Many people are fighting against various sleep disorders like insomnia and others. They spend quite a lot of money on buying sleeping pills, visiting psychiatrists or other experts, changing the furniture in the bedroom, and other most popular tricks to combat insomnia. However, it is possible to substantially improve our sleep quality by using quite a simple and easy method. Wanna know what that is? Regular physical activities and exercise!
According to the latest findings of American specialists, only 150 minutes of physical activities a week can help us improve our sleep quality and feel more alert during the day. A group of experts at Bellarmine University carried out a survey and interviewed about 2,600 American people aged between 25 and 60. It turned out that 2,5 hours of moderate physical activities and exercise a week can be of a great help to those who suffer from insomnia and other related sleep disorders. It was estimated that by using the stated amount of physical activities can assist to provide more than 65 per cent sleep quality improvement, as well as help feel less sleepy and tired during the day.
Sufficient amounts of physical activities are very important for all of us to support our overall health and a proper function of all systems of the body. Brad Cardinal, one of the leaders of the research group and a specialist at Oregon State University said: “We were using the physical activity guidelines set forth for cardiovascular health, but it appears that those guidelines might have a spillover effect to other areas of health.” According to the expert, plenty of physical activities and exercise can play a role of a safe and unique alternative to sleeping pills known for their numerous harmful side effects like addiction, impaired memory, etc.
It is obvious that using physical activities to improve our sleep quality and combat such a common symptom as daytime sleepiness will lead to numerous improvements and other amazing benefits to our general health. In particular, during the study it became apparent that such symptoms as leg cramps or the ability to focus can be deceased: 68 per cent of the participants reported about having less leg cramps, and 45 per cent told that they have improved abilities to concentrate. Physical activities can assist in weight loss and lowering bad LDL blood cholesterol levels, lowering the risks of serious cardiovascular diseases like a heart attack, atherosclerosis, and so on. Read more about the findings of this interesting study in the latest issue of Mental Health and Physical Activity.
Adequate amounts of sleep on a regular basis are very important for all children and teenagers, and a lack of sleep in young ages can have very serious and irreversible negative effects. In particular, according to the findings of a recent study related to teenage obesity and chances to suffer from type 2 diabetes, those teenagers who do not have enough sleep day-by-day have much higher blood sugar levels. This situation can turn into a dangerous one and create a perfect environment for developing type 2 diabetes. Therefore, in order to lower the risks of this serious disease, it is necessary to sleep not less than 8-8.5 hours a day.
62 overweight teenagers from the US aged 12-16 took part in the study. Their overnight sleep patterns were analyzed and compared. At that, the scientists payed attention not only to sleep phases, but also to the glucose levels in the teenagers’ blood. It turned out that those of the teenagers who had inadequate amounts of sleep (either too much sleep or too little sleep) had quite higher levels of sugar in blood compared to the glucose levels in the blood of those teenagers who had the recommended amount of sleep.
Dr. Dorit Koren, a pediatric endocrinologist at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and one of the leaders of the research, comments on the findings as the following: “Our study found to keep glucose levels stable, the optimal amount of sleep for teenagers is 7.5 to 8.5 hours per night.” This amount of sleep in teenagers is associated with the best condition and, in particular, with normal levels of blood glucose linked to lower risks of developing problems and diseases like type 2 diabetes. It was also found out that a lack of sleep in teenagers is associated with lowered insulin secretion.
The experts are planning to go on the experiments and continue studying the sleep patterns of teenagers, this time in their home setting. Financial support for further experiments and studies was received from the officials at the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Research Resources and the Pennsylvania State Tobacco Settlement Fund. Those who are interested in this issue can read more about the findings of this study in one of the September’s issues of the journal Diabetes Care.