With the millions of dollars that are spent each year on sleep medication and doctor visits, it may seem that Americans are always looking for a better insomnia cure. However, researchers from Northwestern University have found that improving sleep may be simpler than most people think.
The results of their recent study show that moderate amounts of aerobic exercise may be enough to significantly improve insomnia symptoms.
Phyllis Zee, M.D., who led the investigation, said that eliminating insomnia is important because many areas of health depend on getting a good night's rest. Added to this is the fact that more than 50 percent of middle aged and older adults report symptoms of chronic insomnia.
She and her team found that as little as 20 minutes of aerobic exercise four times per week may be sufficient to significantly improve insomnia symptoms.
"This is relevant to a huge portion of the population," she said. "Around middle age, sleep begins to change dramatically. It is essential that we identify behavioral ways to improve sleep. Now we have promising results showing aerobic exercise is a simple strategy to help people sleep better and feel more vigorous."