A study titled “Decline in Cardio respiratory Fitness and Odds of Incidental Sleep Complaints”, which was published in the journal of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, may reveal another reason to stay active and healthy as we age. The study that took place between 1971 and 2006 at the University of Georgia has found an association between fitness level and sleep. The study followed more than 8,000 men and woman between the ages of twenty and eighty five. The study tracked the participant’s cardio respiratory fitness over a period of two years for each person.
Researchers in the study found most people had no complaints about sleep in their initial visits, however a noteworthy number of people had significant complaints about sleep in their later visits. The study also revealed that these same people who had reduced ability to sleep also had their treadmill endurance decreased over the years.
By the second or third visit many participants had lost a minute or more of their treadmill time and were no longer capable of exercising like they had been in the first visit. This decrease in cardio respiratory fitness can play a huge role in how well participants were able to sleep. The decline in both may prove a correlation between fitness and sleep.
The study proved that each minute of decreased treadmill endurance led to a rise in sleep complaints by between 1.3 and 1.7 percent. Rodney Dishman, a professor in the College of Education, noted that when the individuals who participated in the study reduced their treadmill exercise time by a minute, they had a greater risk of sleeping issues.
The research findings give adults a motivation to keep on exercising and maintain fitness. Consistent exercise can have a significant role in maintain fitness and, according to this study can help improve our sleep patterns.