How many times have you heard a family member, friend or acquaintance mention about how difficult it is to get to sleep, or on the fact of waking up frequently during the night? Sleeping hours are extremely important for longevity, and the quality of it is essential. But the influence of exercise on the quality of sleep?
The stress of the daily routine, it being for work, school, or problems in general, results in a restriction asleep or installments thereof, resulting in a poor quality of this (LYZNICKI et al. 1998).
As a consequence of the change in sleeping pattern can occur decreases the learning efficiency, reaction time and concentration, and memory deficits, increased irritability, metabolic, endocrine and hypertensive situations (McCarthy et al. (1997) .
A few years ago, the exercise became unanimous in promoting health and improving quality of life, reducing chronic disease development risks and acting as a key factor to increase longevity (Martins Mello & TUFIK, 2001).
Curiosity about the effects of exercise on sleep pattern were beginning for more than 40 years. Heinzelmann and Bagley (1970) studied the ability of a physical activity program to promote healthy behaviors.
The training took place in 18 months, using three weekly one-hour sessions, where participants reported less need for sleep, as well as a more relaxed, restorative sleep (HEINZELMANN & BAGLEY, 1970).
Currently, the exercises are recognized by the American Sleep Disorders Association as a non-pharmacological intervention for standard improves sleep (LAVIE, 1996).
30 years ago, Horne and Moore hypothesized thermoregulatory influence of physical exercise for the facilitation of sleep.
The thermoregulatory hypothesis rests on evidence that the onset of sleep is triggered by the reduction in body temperature that occurs circadianamente in the early evening (MURPHY & Campbell, 1997).
Some studies describe a crucial role in the hypothalamic regulation of body temperature and sleep induction (LU et al., 2000).
Therefore, the exercise by increasing body temperature, would create a condition capable of facilitating “shooting” sleep onset, for activating the heat dissipation processes controlled by the hypothalamus, as well as sleep-inducing mechanisms in the same region (DRIVER & Taylor, 2000).
The restorative theory or compensatory reports that the condition for the anabolic activity during sleep is favored after high catabolic activity during wakefulness (DRIVER & Taylor, 2000), ie the energy expenditure induced by exercise, a sleep is necessary restorer, which occurs more easily.
Thus, the exercise could facilitate sleep by reducing the body’s energy reserves, which would increase the need for sleep, especially in slow-wave sleep (MONTGOMERY et al., 1982).
The exercise therefore facilitate sleep by increasing energy expenditure during wakefulness and this would increase the need for sleep, so that we can achieve a positive energy balance and restore proper condition for a new episode of waking.
The benefits of exercise are not privileges of a certain age, for example, according to Mello and Tufik (2004), it is known that physically active adolescents and in good physical condition have benefits in terms of efficiency
and the quality of sleep, while inactive adolescents complain of poor sleep, low efficiency and thus feel more stressed. Exercise causes the heating body, causing a balance overnight, reduces sleep latency, or facilitates the onset of sleep. In sedentary individuals to physical exercise in the evening may cause insomnia, which does not happen with trained individuals.
The same authors also mention that during adolescence good part of the population has emotional problems, namely family background in relation to the physical aspect, in school, among others. Considering that physical exercise stimulates learning and improves fitness, reduces stress, allowing for a proper sleep for this age.
Another factor that should be noted is that the intensity of exercise and activity schedule are important. According Budgett (1990), high-intensity exercise at night can cause difficulties in thermal equilibrium and delay sleep.
Exercise brings many benefits in relation to sleep and allow improvements in quality of life in all age groups. However, care with respect to the intensity of exercise at night are required to not interfere negatively asleep.