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A recent study suggests that altering daily activities could improve nighttime sleep quality. Activities throughout the day have a significant influence on sleep patterns thus there is need to adjust daily routine for enhanced sleep.

Bedtime habits alone aren’t enough in improving sleep quality

Experts emphasize the significance of physical activity in improving sleep quality, contrary to common advice centered on bedtime habits like reducing screen time and avoiding alcohol. Inadequate or poor sleep can result in health issues such as heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and depression. Therefore, addressing physical activity earlier in the day is deemed crucial for achieving quality sleep and preventing associated health risks.

The University of South Australia study found a link between nighttime sleep quality and daily activity patterns, especially exercise. Researchers tracked 1,360 adults and 1,168 children, adjusting their routines to see how it affected sleep. Published in Sleep Health, the study showed that higher levels of physical activity led to easier sleep onset, better sleep quality, and decreased fatigue.

Dr. Lisa Matricciani, the lead researcher, underscores the importance of daily activities in influencing sleep quality. She advises people to go beyond simply changing bedtime routines to improve their sleep. Despite widespread knowledge about sleep, many individuals still struggle to attain restful sleep. Dr. Matricciani’s research extends beyond pre-bedtime adjustments, such as limiting screen time, avoiding heavy meals, and abstaining from alcohol, to consider the impact of daytime activities on sleep quality.

Daytime activities affect sleep quality, efficiency and duration

The research indicates that daytime activities significantly affect various aspects of sleep, including quality, efficiency, duration, daytime tiredness, and bedtime choices. Dr. Matricciani highlights that merely going to bed earlier doesn’t always improve sleep efficiency. Certain activities, such as late-night video gaming, can directly interfere with sleep, while others affect sleep indirectly through daytime behaviors. Interestingly, allocating more time for sleep was associated with more restless sleep.

Increasing moderate to vigorous physical activity for both children and adults leads to reduced tiredness, improved sleep quality, and fewer sleep disturbances. Current sleep guidelines suggest teens get 8-10 hours of sleep, while adults should aim for 7-9 hours.