STUDY: Less Cardio Leads to Sleeping Problems

A 35 year study found a link between fitness and sleeping

Flickr/Tony Alter

A recent study has concluded that sleeping problems are very closely related to a person’s cardiorespiratory fitness levels. At the University of Georgia, a 35 year long study was completed, and the results published in Medicine & Science journal.

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Led by Dr. Rodney Dishman, Professor of Kinesiology, the study examined fitness and sleep problems in over 8000 people over 35 years. While past studies have previously linked sleep and exercise together, this study is particularly noteworthy for the close examination over a long period of time using an objective measure of cardiorespiratory fitness as opposed to past studies that self-report.

The study examined 7368 men and 1155 women between the ages of 10 and 85 from the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study. When they first came to the clinic, none complained of sleep problems, depression or anxiety. Cardiorespiratory fitness was assessed at 4 visits over the 35 years each separated by 2-3 years average. Sleep complaints were made during the follow-up.. There were 784 sleep complaints in men and 207 in women, and after further study was found that each minute decline of treadmill endurance highered incidents of sleep complaints by 1.7% in men and 1.3% in women.

Age also played a factor and there were increased odds between the ages of 51 to 56, but overall it is pertinent to remember that how important exercise is. Recently we’ve discussed how exercise can reduce stress, how it can boost creativity, and most obviously prevent excessive weight gain.

Now we know, especially as age becomes a factor to keep up with your cardio, so that you can sleep comfortably.


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