Walking More Leads to Better Sleep

As the days shorten, some of us at elevate Health & Performance (our private gym and personal training practice) start to get anxious about falling back to standard time.

Even though the clock only shifts an hour, many people report sleeping more poorly after the change. This group includes our clients and staff. That fact led us to start thinking about ways to improve one’s sleep quality. During the search, we “re-found” an article from 2019 that offers a simple suggestion.

To sleep better, walk more.

The study published in Sleep Health magazine (noted in the New York Times) followed fifty-nine Bostonians for four months. They all worked full-time and worried that they didn’t have time to exercise.

The participants received activity monitors and encouragement to move more. They self-monitored daily, which interested our private gym team. Because participants had to report how much they moved, how long they slept, and how they rated their sleep.

At the end of the study, the researchers looked at the macro results. They found a linear correlation between how many steps participants took and how well they rated their sleep. So, the people who moved more reported sleeping better.

The researchers also looked at the results granularly. They reviewed how each participant rated their sleep on every day of the study.

And across the board, on the days when individual participants moved more, they reported better sleep.

More steps = better sleep makes sense to our private gym coaches.

Here’s what surprised our private gym team: it didn’t take many steps to sleep well. As many know, 10,000 gets cited as a threshold for adequate activity. In this study, participants getting 7,000 or more steps per day reported better sleep. That’s only about three miles a day of walking.

The variation in steps taken made a difference too. When the less active participants walked even a little more, it led to better sleep.

Walking more to sleep better, it seems almost too simple. But why not give it a try?

And, if you’re not sure consider this study about walking building brain cells. It turns out that we do keep generating new, usable, and needed brain cells as we age. More walking led to more new brain cells.

So when you’re ready to get moving, our private gym team of coaches and physical therapists are here to help. Just contact us here at elevate.

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