Better sleep can help women fight serious illness experts find

August 1, 2012, University of Bath
Better sleep can help women fight serious illness experts find

(Medical Xpress) -- Just a small amount of activity is enough to improve sleep quality among post-menopausal women and reduce their risk of life-threatening illnesses experts at our Department for Health have found.

Researchers, who worked in collaboration with Pennington Biomedical Research Centre in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and the School of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh, found that who do even half of the recommended daily amount of benefited from a better night’s sleep.

Good quality sleep is a key factor in helping to reduce stress which in turn can reduce the risk of serious illness such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and types of cancer.

Prior to menopause, women have a markedly lower risk for cardiovascular disease and all disease-related mortality compared to men. However, once menopause is complete, women rapidly catch up to men and exceed their pre-menopausal counterparts.

The study looked at the impact of measured doses of activity and found that activities such as housework and gardening as well as playing with children can all contribute to getting the required amount of exercise a day and therefore better quality sleep.

The findings are part of the Dose Response to Exercise in Women Study (DREW) – a large clinical trial performed to examine the effect of 50%, 100%, and 150% of recommended dose on fitness in women. 

The target population of the study was postmenopausal, overweight or obese, sedentary women with high blood pressure. 

Professor Conrad Earnest recently joined the University of Bath from Louisiana where he worked on the study with Dr Christopher Kline the lead author of the paper; Effects of Different Doses of Physical Activity on Cardiorespiratory Fitness Among Sedentary, Overweight or Obese Postmenopausal Women With Elevated Blood Pressure which is published in the British Medical Journal this week.

Professor Earnest said: “One of the goals of the DREW study was to examine whether half the current physical activity recommendations, which are nearly identical in the US and the UK, would be effective in improving fitness, which is highly correlated in men and women to reduce mortality risk at any age.

“Fundamental to this study is the idea of ‘dose’. Specifically, even low dose exercise improves , which is just one of the benefits of increased activity.

“A brief walk for 15 minutes benefits sleep. Also tasks such as gardening, cutting the lawn, cleaning and playing with children also help with quality. In essence, a little goes a long way.”

Explore further: Exercise, even mild physical activity, may reduce breast cancer risk

Related Stories

Exercise, even mild physical activity, may reduce breast cancer risk

June 25, 2012
A new analysis done by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers has found that physical activity – either mild or intense and before or after menopause – may reduce breast cancer risk, but substantial ...

Is that sleepiness during pregnancy normal or a sign of sleep apnea?

February 10, 2012
(Medical Xpress) -- Most pregnant women complain of being tired. Some of them however, could be suffering more than normal fatigue associated with their pregnancy; they may have developed obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a ...

Recommended for you

Calcium and Vitamin D supplements are not associated with risk of heart attacks

February 16, 2018
New research from the University of Southampton has found no association between the use of calcium or vitamin D supplementation and cardiovascular events such as heart attacks.

Study shows options to decrease risk of motor vehicle crashes for adolescent drivers

February 16, 2018
Adolescents who receive comprehensive and challenging on-road driving assessments prior to taking the license test might be protected from future motor vehicle crashes, according to a University of Alabama at Birmingham study ...

Being a single dad can shorten your life: study

February 15, 2018
The risk of dying prematurely more than doubles for single fathers compared to single mothers or paired-up dads, according to a study of Canadian families published Thursday.

Keeping an eye on the entire ageing process

February 15, 2018
Medical researchers often only focus on a single disease. As older people often suffer from multiple diseases at the same time, however, we need to rethink this approach, writes Ralph Müller.

Study suggests possible link between highly processed foods and cancer

February 14, 2018
A study published by The BMJ today reports a possible association between intake of highly processed ("ultra-processed") food in the diet and cancer.

Gov't says health costs to keep growing faster than economy

February 14, 2018
U.S. health care spending will keep growing faster than the overall economy in the foreseeable future, squeezing public insurance programs and employers who provide coverage, the government said Wednesday.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.