Physical Activity and Sleep
- Sayaka Aritake-OkadaSayaka Aritake-OkadaSchool of Sport Sciences, Saitama Prefectural University and Waseda University
- and Sunao UchidaSunao UchidaSchool of Sport Sciences, Waseda University
Research indicates that both acute and chronic physical activity improve sleep. Effects on sleep include prolongation of total sleep time, slow wave sleep increase, rapid eye movement sleep decrease, wake after sleep onset reduction, and shortened sleep latency. However, detailed biological mechanisms of these effects have not been well elucidated.
Past studies strongly suggest that the sleep-promoting effect of exercise could be multifactorial. Increase of slow wave sleep, which has been repeatedly reported, strongly suggests physical activity effects on central nervous system function. Physical activity also elevates body temperature, alters glucose, and impacts other metabolic regulations. Habitual exercise also alters autonomic nervous system predominance measured by heart rate variability.