Many people struggle with adequate sleep as they get older. This is particularly true in those who work nights, rotate shifts, or get up multiple times a night. Adequate sleep is essential for good health and nearly all body systems are affected by chronic sleep deprivation.
We all know friends who are “owls” (late nighters) or “sparrows” (early risers) and most of us fall somewhere in between. The exact amount of sleep required varies a bit by individual.
Lack of adequate sleep not only makes us more tired and cranky, but has been shown to increase the likelihood of physical illness, depression, and early mortality.
The good news is: adequate sleep is extremely beneficial and regular exercise is one way of significantly improving sleep!
Middle-aged and older adults, and those with chronic medical conditions, show the greatest sleep improvement after exercise.
Now if we could only figure out how to exercise while asleep…
Carol Weesner, MD