How Exercise Can Help You Sleep

A man doing push-ups with weightsRunning to the medicine cabinet or to doctors for sleeping pills may be one way to battle chronic insomnia, but aerobic exercise might be the best prescription, new research indicates.

Scientists at Northwestern University say sleep problems affect millions of adults, who could likely improve their quality of sleep, vitality, and mood with regular aerobic exercise.

The researchers say the study is the first to examine the effect of aerobic exercise on insomnia in middle-aged and older adults. About 50% of people middle-aged and older complain of symptoms of chronic insomnia.

The Study Design

Investigators studied 23 sedentary adults, mostly women aged 55 years and older, who had a hard time falling asleep or staying asleep and also reported impaired daytime functioning.