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Does running improve sleep quality?
People who exercise claim they fall asleep faster, have deeper sleep, wake up less often, and feel less tired during the day. Although these claims are difficult to verify, scientists have shown that people who exercise regularly and intensely spend more time in stage 3 and 4 slow-wave sleep (O’Connor et al. 1995, Kubitz et al. 1996). Trinder et al. (1985) for example, found that fit runners, who average 45 miles/week, spend 87 minutes in slow-wave sleep, 13 minutes or 18% longer than deconditioned people.
Brassington et al. (1995) concluded that physically active older men and women slept longer, took less time to fall asleep, and were more alert during the day than sedentary older people. Sherrill et al. (1998) studied 722 adults and found that men and women who exercised regularly had fewer sleep disorders. G. Passoss (in her presentation at the 2008 Annual Meeting of Associated Professional Sleep Societies) stated that patients with chronic insomnia who did moderate aerobic exercise drifted off to sleep 54% faster than other groups, and slept 37% longer (Passoss 2008).
Several other studies have shown that when people first take up running (and other endurance sports), their sleep quality is improved, and that exercising longer than 1 hour further improves sleep quality (Youngsted 1997, Youngsted et al. 1997). Shapiro et al (1984) found that the sleep quality of army recruits improved during 18 weeks of basic training, with most positive effects occurring in the first 9 weeks. A caveat here though; severe and prolonged exercise such as that experienced in ultrarunning and marathon events, may actually disrupt sleep (Montgomery et al. 1985).
Originally posted by HeFrippedMeOff
reply to post by TOMFROMOZ
I learned this in a Neuropsychology class:
A small carbohydrate snack (tablespoon of peanut butter and glass of milk) just before bedtime will flush the system of insulin allowing melatonin to take effect. In about 20 or 30 minutes you should be asleep.
Try it out. It works for me.