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VOLUME 36, ISSUE 09

EXERCISE, ACTIVITY AND BETTER SLEEP IN MIDLIFE WOMEN: THE SWAN SLEEP STUDY
Consistently High Sports/Exercise Activity Is Associated with Better Sleep Quality, Continuity and Depth in Midlife Women: The SWAN Sleep Study

http://dx.doi.org/10.5665/sleep.2946

Christopher E. Kline, PhD1; Leah A. Irish, PhD1; Robert T. Krafty, PhD2; Barbara Sternfeld, PhD3; Howard M. Kravitz, DO, MPH4,5; Daniel J. Buysse, MD1; Joyce T. Bromberger, PhD1,6; Sheila A. Dugan, MD5,7; Martica H. Hall, PhD1

1Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA; 2Department of Statistics, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA; 3Division of Research, Kaiser Permanente, Oakland CA; 4Department of Psychiatry, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL; 5Department of Preventive Medicine, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL; 6Department of Epidemiology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA; 7Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL



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Study Objectives:

To examine relationships between different physical activity (PA) domains and sleep, and the influence of consistent PA on sleep, in midlife women.

Design:

Cross-sectional.

Setting:

Community-based.

Participants:

339 women in the Study of Women's Health Across the Nation Sleep Study (52.1 ± 2.1 y).

Interventions:

None.

Measurements and Results:

Sleep was examined using questionnaires, diaries and in-home polysomnography (PSG). PA was assessed in three domains (Active Living, Household/Caregiving, Sports/Exercise) using the Kaiser Physical Activity Survey (KPAS) up to 4 times over 6 years preceding the sleep assessments. The association between recent PA and sleep was evaluated using KPAS scores immediately preceding the sleep assessments. The association between the historical PA pattern and sleep was examined by categorizing PA in each KPAS domain according to its pattern over the 6 years preceding sleep assessments (consistently low, inconsistent/consistently moderate, or consistently high). Greater recent Sports/Exercise activity was associated with better sleep quality (diary “restedness” [P < 0.01]), greater sleep continuity (diary sleep efficiency [SE; P = 0.02]) and depth (higher NREM delta electroencephalographic [EEG] power [P = 0.04], lower NREM beta EEG power [P < 0.05]), and lower odds of insomnia diagnosis (P < 0.05). Consistently high Sports/Exercise activity was also associated with better Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index scores (P = 0.02) and higher PSG-assessed SE (P < 0.01). Few associations between sleep and Active Living or Household/Caregiving activity (either recent or historical pattern) were noted.

Conclusion:

Consistently high levels of recreational physical activity, but not lifestyle- or household-related activity, are associated with better sleep in midlife women. Increasing recreational physical activity early in midlife may protect against sleep disturbance in this population.

Citation:

Kline CE; Irish LA; Krafty RT; Sternfeld B; Kravitz HM; Buysse DJ; Bromberger JT; Dugan SA; Hall MH. Consistently high sports/exercise activity is associated with better sleep quality, continuity and depth in midlife women: the SWAN Sleep Study. SLEEP 2013;36(9):1279-1288.

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