Exercise is known to aid sleep but now scientists have discovered that some types of exercise are better than others.
Golf, along with yoga, gardening and running, proved the best forms of exercise for encouraging good quality sleep.
The sleep-inducing power of golf comes from being what scientists term a ‘purposeful’ activity – where you have a specific goal while you work out. People who exercise like this are more likely to get sufficient sleep than those who simply walk.
Exercising outdoors in the peaceful, green scenery of the golf-course can also make you feel calm and relaxed so you are likely to sleep more soundly.
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania recently assessed the sleep habits of almost half a million adults, asking how long they slept and what exercise they did.
Golf tops the list of the best types of exercise while housework and childcare have the opposite effect – and may even be detrimental to good sleep.
NHS Choices says most of us need around eight hours of good-quality sleep to feel and perform at our best. Sleeping well reduces your risk of depression and anxiety and may even help reduce your risk of diseases like obesity and diabetes.
“It’s now clear that a solid night’s sleep is essential for a long and healthy life,” says the Government health information website.
Lead researcher psychologist Dr Michael Grandner says sleep is crucial for good health and wellbeing. “Sleep is an important part of overall health,” he explains.