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To practice physical activity helps offset, at least in part, the damage caused by poor sleep, according to research recently published in European Cardiology.
According to the authors, this is one of the first studies to assess the joint effects of physical activity and sleep quality using an accelerometer, a type of watch with a sensor to assess exercise level.
It is known that sleeping too little or too much – less than 6 hours or more than 9 hours – is associated with a greater risk of various diseases, cardiovascular problems and even dementia. On the other hand, physical activity helps to prevent and control metabolic and neurodegenerative diseases, cancer, among others.
Scientific evidence on physical activity
The study evaluated more than 90,000 patients aged between 40 and 73 years, who were classified according to their level of physical activity (whether or not they followed the recommendation of 150 minutes weekly of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity) and whether they slept little (less than 6 hours), normal (between 6 and 8 hours) or a lot (more than 8 hours).
Those who exercised as much as recommended and slept well had the best results in terms of the lowest risk of death from any cause.
The worst rates were observed among those who had poor quality sleep and were sedentary, with a 52% higher cardiovascular risk. The surprise was that these risks disappeared in those who exercised as recommended, even if they slept poorly.
“The study provides further evidence that physical activity is also capable of minimizing and, probably, even avoiding the negative consequences of not having a good sleep pattern”, says the physiotherapist. Carolina Vicaria Rodrigues D’Aureado Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein.
According to her, what is recommended for most people would be to sleep between 7 and 8 hours.
In addition, physical activity is also one of the sleep hygiene recommendations to sleep better. And better sleep in quality and quantity brings more quality of life, with less risk of developing diseases and all-cause mortality”, adds the expert.
Technical review: Alexandre R. Marra, researcher at the Instituto Israelita de Ensino e Pesquisa Albert Einstein (IIEP) and permanent professor at the Graduate Program in Health Sciences at the Faculdade Israelita de Ciências da Saúde Albert Einstein (FICSAE).