Need a Good Night's Sleep? Try Exercising
Self-described exercisers claim to get "a good night's sleep" more often than self-described non-exercisers, according to the National Sleep Foundation's 2013 Sleep in America® poll. Both groups report the same amount of sleep on weeknights (just under seven hours).
Of those who exercise (at any level: vigorous, moderate or light), more than half report getting a good night's sleep every night or almost every night. Only 39% of the non-exercises make the same claim.
This raises the question, do people sleep well because they exercise, or exercise because they are well rested? "While cause and effect can be tricky, I don't think having good sleep necessarily compels us to exercise," said Max Hirshkowitz, PhD, poll task force chair. "I think it is much more likely that exercising improves sleep."
As a "self-described exerciser," I can support these findings. I believe I sleep well most nights. On some nights it's definitely because I got my butt kicked at the gym. That said, if there is a night where I don't sleep well, I pay for it at the gym. So, one definitely impacts the other.
You certainly know that both are good for you: sleeping well and exercising. The challenge for your residents may be access and interest. Does your community provide the right type of exercise opportunities to interest your residents and keep them engaged? Like anyone else who exercises or goes to a gym, you need to switch up the offerings regularly to keep the engagement high. And, of course, offer options for all levels of ability.
Learn more about exercise in senior living: