Teens Benefit From Exercise, Both Asleep and Awake

Jim Liebelt | Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University | Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Teens Benefit From Exercise, Both Asleep and Awake

Adults tend to sleep better when they exercise regularly, as several studies have shown. But does the same hold true for teens?

Yes, according to a new study that compared sleep quality, daytime performance and depression levels among adolescents who exercised at high levels and teens who did lower amounts of exercise.

The study, conducted in Switzerland, included 434 adolescents; 258 took part in Swiss Olympic classes, which provide intense levels of training for high school students. They averaged about 18 hours of exercise per week. The other participants, recruited from Swiss high schools, averaged about five hours of exercise per week. Students kept a log for seven days, noting how much they exercised, how much sleep they got, the quality of that sleep, how tired they were during the day, how well they were able to concentrate, and how tired they were at bedtime.

Overall, athletes scored higher in sleep quality and mood and woke fewer times after falling asleep. They also had better daytime concentration and less fatigue. Athletes also scored lower for depressive symptoms. No substantial differences were seen in total sleep time between the two groups.

Source: Los Angeles Times