Dr. Anuj Chandra announced the results of the National Sleep Foundation’s 2013 Sleep in America®poll, which were released today for national Sleep Week, March 3-10. Daylight Savings Time begins March 10. Results of this national survey of 1,000 adults who answered questions about their sleep and exercise habits included some surprising information that contradicts established ideas about good sleep.
Dr. Chandra is holding an open house March 8, from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. to celebrate the opening of his new Ringgold / East Ridge Sleep Center,located at 2052 Highway 41 in Ringgold. The new branch of the Advanced Center for Sleep Disorders is a comprehensive sleep diagnostic center with six beds. During the open house Dr. Chandra and his staff will provide free screening for sleep disorders and informational presentations on healthy sleep.
According to the survey, people who exercise more are significantly more likely to sleep better. They report better sleep than non-exercisers, even through both groups sleep just under seven hours per night.That's true whether they exercise vigorously, moderately or lightly.Even a 10-minute walk can improve sleep. But compared to non-exercisers, people who report vigorous exercise are much more likely to report getting a good night's sleep and much less likely to report sleep problems like having trouble falling asleep or waking early and not being able to go to sleep again.Non-exercisers are about twice as likely to be at risk for sleep apnea and three times as likely to have trouble staying awake while driving.
If you don't sleep well, you might not be inclined to exercise: 57%reported lower levels of physical activity after a bad night's sleep."This is great information. It helps us understand people's behavior and it gives us a tool to talk to patients about how they can get healthier sleep," said Dr. Chandra.
The poll results had a few surprises, he said."One surprise is that spending less time sitting during the day,regardless of how much people exercise, less means better quality sleep at night," he said. "That's the first time we've seen that."
Another surprising finding is that exercising at any time of day seems to be good for sleep. The results showed no difference between exercising earlier in the day and exercising close to bedtime."For years, we believed that exercising close to bed time would keep you awake, but it doesn't seem to be true here," he said. "That's good news for people who have trouble fitting exercise into their schedule earlier. But anyone being treated for insomnia whose treatment regimen restricts nighttime exercise should continue to follow those guidelines.
"Dr. Chandra offers the following tips for healthy sleep:
* Make exercise a part of your day, every day. Vigorous exercise is better, but even moderate exercise can help you sleep better and improve your overall health.
* Make your bedroom a place of rest, comfortable and dark, with no electronics of any kind. If you can't fall asleep, instead of tossing and turning go to another room and do something calming until you feel sleepy.
* Keep a regular sleep schedule, going to bed and waking at the same time every day.
* Watch for signs of a possible sleep problem. If you are too sleepy during the day if you snore, get yourself screened for sleep apnea.