Effect of poor sleep is hard to overcome

POTSDAM — Clarkson University research, recently published in Fatigue: Biomedicine, Health & Behavior, finds that physical activity may not be able to overcome the harmful effects of poor sleep on feelings of mental and physical energy and fatigue.

The study by two professors and three Clarkson Doctor of Physical Therapy students examined the interaction between sleep quality and participation in moderate- and high-intensity physical activity in young adults on feelings of mental and physical energy and fatigue. The study found that while exercise may help improve feelings of energy, this may only be seen if the subject has adequate sleep quality.

The coauthors of the article are doctor of physical therapy students Matthew Miller, Jahnée Lee-Chambers and Briana Cooper; Clarkson Associate Professor of Physical Therapy Ali Boolani; and University of Michigan School of Public Health Research Assistant Professor Erica Jansen.

“These results indicate that physical activity alone may not be able to overcome the harmful effects of poor sleep on feelings of mental and physical energy and fatigue,” said Boolani.

Students often engage in physical activity in the early morning or late at night when they do not have class or work obligations, but it is often at the expense of sleep. The findings of this study suggest that people should not sacrifice sleep in order to perform physical activities like working out.

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