Moderate exercise can improve the sleep quality of insomnia patients

June 11, 2008

An acute session of moderate aerobic exercise, but not heavy aerobic or moderate strength exercises, can reduce the anxiety state and improve the sleep quality of insomnia patients, according to a research abstract that will be presented on Wednesday at SLEEP 2008, the 22nd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies (APSS).

The study, authored by Giselle S. Passos, of Federal University of Sao Paulo in Brazil, focused on 36 patients (eight men and 28 women) with primary chronic insomnia, who were divided into three experimental groups (moderate aerobic exercise, heavy aerobic exercise, and moderate strength exercise) and a control group.

According to the results, after the exercise session, reductions were shown in sleep onset latency (54 percent) and wake time (36 percent) in the moderate aerobic exercise group, while increases were shown in total sleep time (21 percent) and in sleep efficiency (18 percent). A significant increase in the total sleep time (37 percent) and reduction in the sleep onset latency (40 percent) were observed in the sleep log of volunteers of the moderate aerobic exercise group. Finally, a significant reduction (seven percent) in the anxiety state was also observed after moderate aerobic exercise session.

“These findings indicate that there is a way to diminish the symptoms of insomnia without using medication,” said Passos. “This study is the first to look at the importance of using physical exercise to treat insomnia, and may contribute to increased quality of life in people with one of the most important kind of sleep disorders around the world.”

Insomnia is a classification of sleep disorders in which a person has trouble falling asleep, staying asleep or waking up too early. It is the most commonly reported sleep disorder. About 30 percent of adults have symptoms of insomnia. It is more common among elderly people and women.

It is recommended that adults get between seven and eight hours of nightly sleep.

Source: American Academy of Sleep Medicine

Explore further: Patients with mild to moderate OSA may benefit from exercise

Related Stories

Patients with mild to moderate OSA may benefit from exercise

May 7, 2009

Practicing certain tongue and pharyngeal exercises may reduce symptoms of mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), according to new research being published in the second issue for May of the American Journal of Respiratory ...

Beating depression with exercise

January 25, 2011

Having trouble sticking to your new year’s resolution to hit the gym three times a week? What if you knew that exercising could stave off Alzheimer’s? What if your motivations weren’t about just about improving ...

Moderate sleep and less stress may help with weight loss

March 29, 2011

If you want to increase your chances of losing weight, reduce your stress level and get adequate sleep. A new Kaiser Permanente study found that people trying to lose at least 10 pounds were more likely to reach that goal ...

Recommended for you

How the finch changes its tune

August 3, 2015

Like top musicians, songbirds train from a young age to weed out errors and trim variability from their songs, ultimately becoming consistent and reliable performers. But as with human musicians, even the best are not machines. ...

Machine Translates Thoughts into Speech in Real Time

December 21, 2009

( -- By implanting an electrode into the brain of a person with locked-in syndrome, scientists have demonstrated how to wirelessly transmit neural signals to a speech synthesizer. The "thought-to-speech" process ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.