Aerobic Exercise Eases Insomnia

Thursday 16th September 2010

Regular aerobic exercise could help to ease insomnia in middle aged and older patients who have difficulty sleeping, according to new research from the Sleep Disorders Centre at Northwestern Medicine. Sleep experts explain the the discovery is particularly significant as middle aged and older people are at increased risk of developing the sleeping problem – and exercise therapy could be used to improve sleep patterns without altering or affecting medications that patients in this age group may be taking to relive the symptoms of other medical complaints.

Researchers reached their conclusions by studying 23 adults, mainly women, who had a history of insomnia. Exercising for up to 40 minutes per day, four days a week, the participants also attended classes which encouraged them to adopt good sleeping habits including going to bed at the same time every night.

The participants self-reported that combining exercise and 'sleep hygiene' classes had helped to ease the symptoms of insomnia and had also lessened depressive feelings in some test subjects.

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