No association of sleep with total daily physical activity in normal sleepers

Shawn D. Youngstedt, Michael L. Perlis, Patrick M. O'Brien, Christopher R. Palmer, Michael T. Smith, Henry J. Orff, Daniel F. Kripke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


The aim of two studies was to examine both between-subjects and within-subjects associations between daily amounts of physical activity and sleep in the home environment. Study 1 examined self-reported exercise durations and sleep diaries for 105 consecutive days in 31 college students who were normal sleepers. Between-subjects associations of mean exercise with mean sleep were assessed with Spearman rank-order correlations. Within-subjects correlations were determined across 105 days, and by comparing sleep on the 11 most active vs. the 11 least active days. Study 2 examined 71 physically active adults (n=38 ages 18-30 years, and n=33 ages 60-75 years), the majority of whom were normal sleepers. Over seven consecutive days, physical activity was assessed via actigraphy and a diary-derived estimate of energy expenditure, and sleep was assessed via actigraphy and sleep diaries. Between-subjects associations of mean physical activity with mean sleep were assessed with partial correlations, controlling for age. Within-subjects associations were assessed with ANCOVAs, with daily physical activity serving as the covariate, and by comparing sleep on the most active vs. the least active day. No significant within-subjects associations between physical activity and sleep were found in the main analyses of either study. Two small, but significant, between-subjects correlations between different physical activity measures and subjective sleep were found in Study 2. These results fail to support epidemiologic data on the value of exercise for sleep, but are consistent with experimental evidence showing only modest effects of exercise on sleep.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)395-401
Number of pages7
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Actigraphy
  • Energy expenditure
  • Exercise
  • Normal sleepers
  • Sleep diary

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'No association of sleep with total daily physical activity in normal sleepers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this