If you’re one of the many that believes that one workout is enough to end your sleeplessness, you might be wrong, but that doesn’t mean that you should stop working out. A new study has found that one quick workout simply will not be enough to help you begin sleeping better. However, it was found that frequent exercise did help people to get better sleep over time.
According to researchers, exercise has a cumulative effect on sleep, and sleeplessness. The author of the study, Kelly Baron, Behavioral Sleep Medicine Program director with Northwester Univeristy’s Feinberg School of Medicine, has said that she decided to explore the true impact of exercise on sleeplessness because her patients were saying that they had heard exercise would help sleep, but when they tried it, it didn’t work. She says that people tend to want something quick, and exercise wasn’t helping right away.
She also says that exercise is not meant to be about immediate gratification and that the results are not discouraging when considering the message is to maintain an active life. In previous work, she and colleagues have found that getting enough exercise over the course of 16 weeks has shown to be highly effective in helping to end sleeplessness. In fact, it’s as effective as any type of medicines out there. Baron says that it’s the same case as with any type of lifestyle change; it simply won’t happen overnight.
The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine seems to have been a letdown for many that were hoping a vigorous workout would be a cure-all to end sleeplessness. Researchers examined data on sleeping habits of 11 women that were middle-aged, and elderly, all of them sedentary. All of them had received an insomnia diagnosis before they started a monitored four month aerobic session.
At the end of the four months, the aerobics did help the participants to sleep, and boosted the vitality and mood of the older women who had not exercised before. So, the researchers went back and reviewed the numbers and found that exercising one day did not help the women to sleep better that same night. It was actually found that one night of poor sleep caused a person to exercise less the next day, which meant that the women that couldn’t sleep were experiencing a cycle where they were too tired to get the exercise they so desperately needed for better long term sleep.
Researchers also stress that people should remember that not all cases of insomnia are caused from exercise or a lack thereof. Each situation is different, and while exercise is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle, there might also be other issues causing sleeplessness.