Effects of endurance and strength acute exercise on night sleep quality

Roveda, Eliana; Sciolla, Chiara; Montaruli, Angela; Calogiuri, Giovanna; Angeli, Alberto; Carandente, Franca
September 2011
International SportMed Journal;2011, Vol. 12 Issue 3, p113
Academic Journal
Background: Physical activity is one of the lifestyle-related factors that is decisive for the quality of sleep and for immune system stimulation. Research question: The purpose of this research is to evaluate the effect of high-intensity endurance and strength exercises, carried out in the morning, on the quality of nighttime sleep. Methods: Fifteen healthy, trained, males were assessed at rest and during endurance and strength exercises. Preliminarily, at least one week before testing began, maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) and maximal upper limb strength (maximal weight load, WLmax) were assessed. During each test session continuous monitoring by means of an actigraph for the rest-activity measurement was collected. Results: A single session of strength or endurance exercise positively influenced the parameters related to sleep patterns. The positive effects were particularly evident during the night immediately following the exercise. Both exercise typologies positively influenced the parameters, indicative of the total amount of sleep (assumed sleep and sleep latency). The quality of sleep, evaluated by means of number of sleep bouts, number of immobile phases, and the number of minutes immobile respectively, was also clearly improved during the first night for both types of physical activity. Sleep efficiency was significantly higher during the first and second nights respectively but only following endurance exercise. None of the parameters of sleep have highlighted statistically significant differences between the strength and the endurance sessions. Conclusions: This study shows that morning physical activity has an effect on nighttime rest, making it easier to fall asleep, lengthening the real time of sleep, and improving overall sleep quality.


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