Sleep hasn’t always been on our priority list, at least for the present generation. A good night’s sleep helps us successfully pull through a busy day. But, the advent of the Internet, social media obsession, and streaming platforms have ruined our sleep routines altogether. We sleep during early morning hours and get up around late afternoons during weekends or during weekdays, get as less as 5 hours of sleep daily. Such insufficient sleep has a range of disastrous outcomes including negative performance at school/workplace, increased risk of obesity, lack of clarity, and higher risk for illnesses resulting in death sometimes.
Worldwide, more than 50% of the population complains about not sleeping well. It might seem like you are simply losing out on an hour of sleep everyday, but this accumulation can have the exactly same impact as going without sleep for an entire day. Though sleep duration and quality can differ worldwide, the notion regarding sleep remains the same—most individuals are dissatisfactory with their sleep duration. Many survive on consuming cups of coffee rather than reaching out for the required extra hour of sleep.
While most prominent reasons for sleeplessness are self-induced, there are some reasons that lead to decreased sleep quality—sedentary lifestyle is one of those prominent reasons that impairs sleep quality of individuals.
Ouch! Don’t Be a Couch Potato: Sedentary Lifestyle Affects Sleep Quality
Sitting has become our way of life, especially with the IT industry ruling our lives. Our lifestyle demands that we sit for longer hours in a sedentary position daily. A sedentary lifestyle has never been accepted nor recommended for good health. Most of us are aware of the ill effects of a sedentary lifestyle which includes risk of obesity/overweight, elevated chances of diseases including diabetes, and decreased overall performance. But, besides all these, a sedentary lifestyle also has the ability to hinder sleep quality in an individual.
Sedentary behavior includes a sitting/reclining posture with energy expenditure in minimum. A thorough research was conducted to find out the significant of such sedentary behavior on sleep quality and sixteen studies matched the research requirements. A meta-analysis of all the studies showed that sedentary behavior induced sleep disturbance and elevated the risk of insomnia. Such disturbances in sleep in turn affect the activeness quotient of individuals during the daytime.
Another study divulged into the sleep routines of Korean adults. More than 2,00,000 participants were analysed for their sedentary lifestyle and its impact on their sleep quality. Results showed that compared to sleeping for lesser than 4 hours daily, leading a sedentary lifestyle and sleeping for more than 8 hours daily was linked to a greatly decreased sleep quality among both the genders. The study also showed that women had poorer sleep quality compared to men due to reasons such as menstruation, menopause, household chores, decreased leisure time, and pregnancy. As checked out by this research time, not only their study but many other studies also provide similar results associating between sedentary lifestyle and decreased sleep quality.
Several other studies clearly show that low levels of physical exercise decreased sleep duration and quality. It is also derived from these research data that better sleep led to better sleep quality and regular physical activity improved sleep levels. Also, older individuals who expressed sedentary behavior for 8-11 hours daily suffered from greater risk of sleep-related problems.
According to the Center for Disease Control & Prevention, every individual must pursue at least one moderate-intensity physical activity and do it for at least 5 times a week for 150 minutes. The other two days could involve muscle strengthening activity. Any person who doesn’t follow this schedule falls into the category of leading a sedentary lifestyle. Such a lifestyle decreases overall sleep quality which in turn affects quality of life.
To avoid all these, why don’t we move more and lead an active lifestyle. Maybe, walk while talking over the phone, bring a close friend to walk together in the park, use the stairs instead of the elevator, and choose activity-based games.
Even while working, make it a point to get up from the desk every 1 hour or so and do some stretching. Include innovative ideas to stand and work, make it a habit to move more everyday, and set a goal for yourself to achieve it. Else, you will end up with reduced sleep quality that not only disrupts everyday routine but also instigates the risk of various diseases including cardiovascular problems and immune problems.
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