Background: Poor sleep quality is associated with adverse effects on health outcomes. It is not clear whether exercise can improve sleep quality and whether intensity of exercise affects any of the effects. Methods: Fifteen healthy, non-obese (body mass index=24.4±2.1kg/m2, mean±SD), sedentary (<20min of exercise on no more than 3 times/week) older women (66.1±3.9 years) volunteered for the study. Peak oxygen consumption (VO2peak) was evaluated using a graded exercise test on a treadmill with a metabolic cart. Following a 7-day baseline period, each participant completed two exercise sessions (separated by 1 week) with equal caloric expenditure, but at different intensities (60% and 45% VO2peak, sequence randomized) between 9:00 and 11:00am. A wrist ActiGraph monitor was used to assess sleep at baseline and two nights following each exercise session. Results: The average duration of the exercise was 54 and 72min, respectively at 60% (moderate-intensity) and 45% VO2peak (light-intensity). Wake time after sleep onset was significantly shorter (p=0.016), the number of awakenings was less (p=0.046), and total activity counts were lower (p=0.05) after the moderate-intensity exercise compared to baseline no-exercise condition. Conclusion: Our data showed that a single moderate-intensity aerobic exercise session improved sleep quality in older women.
- Activity counts
- Older adults
- Sleep quality
- Wake after sleep onset
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation