Study Says Walk More, Sleep More

Exploring Intensity

Study Says Walk More, Sleep More

While there has long been a school of thought that exercising leads to better sleep, it is sometimes contradicted by studies. And even for those who believe it, it’s often assumed that you have to sweat pretty hard to end up actually getting more Z’s. But according to a new study, you may be helping yourself just by walking more.

The new study out of Brandeis University looked at 59 men and women in middle age who didn’t exercise very much. They were given activity monitors and also filled out questionnaires before they wore the devices and a month later, after they’d been properly measured. And here is what the researchers found, according to this article:

In essence, the more steps people accumulated over the course of the month, the higher their self-rated sleep quality was during that time. Ditto when the researchers looked at the number of minutes they had spent moving; the more time someone was in motion during the month, the better they rated their sleep over all.

This seemed to hold up to scrutiny even when looking at specific days. And this wasn’t a crazy amount of walking. Also from the article:

The average step count among the 59 volunteers was about 7,000 per day, which is a little more than three miles a day of walking. Covering greater ground was associated with better sleep, but even among the least active, upping their mileage a bit on some days was related to better sleep later.

Of course more studies need to be done, but if you are someone who wishes your sleep was better, and are doing that wishing while sitting on your couch, then get up and see if moving as little can help you saw more logs.
-Shane M.