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A new study shows that replacing sedentary time with physical activity improves sleep in women. Women who swapped just one hour of sedentary time or low-intensity activity with moderate- or vigorous-intensity activity slept better and felt more rested.

Researchers investigated the effects of replacing sedentary time with physical activity. The study involved 683 men and women between the ages of 40 and 64 years. The participants wore accelerometers to gauge their activity levels for one week and reported their sleep quality.

The researchers found that sleep measures improved when women replaced sedentary behavior or low-intensity physical activity with moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity. Interestingly, they found no associations between altering men’s activity levels and sleep quality, highlighting the sex-related differences in response to exercise.

These findings indicate that engaging in moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity improves sleep quality in middle-aged women. They also align with other studies that show that exercise improves sleep. Sleep is essential for human health. Learn more about the benefits of sleep in this episode featuring Dr. Matthew Walker.

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