Sleeplessness linked to less exercise in people with knee osteoarthritis

insomnia, sleeplessness, exercise, physical activity, arthritis, knee pain, arthritis digest magazinePoor sleep quality is associated with decreased physical activity in people who have knee osteoarthritis, says research in Arthritis Care and Research.

Experts looked at the relationship between sleep quality and physical activity in nearly 2,000 adults with knee osteoarthritis.

Of the 16% who reported experiencing restless sleep three or more days in the past week, 12% had fewer weekly minutes of physical activity compared with those who were restless just once a week. People who had five to seven days of restless sleep a week did 24% less physical activity.

The research team took age, gender, race, BMI, knee osteoarthritis severity and pain into account. But the differences related to restless sleep were reduced if people were depressed or had low energy levels

“There is a significant relationship between restless sleep and physical activity with depression and energy levels serving as possible mediators,” Dr Abigail Gilbert says. “It is hard to know if poor sleep leads to low physical activity, or low physical activity leads to restless sleep – I anticipate the relationship goes both ways.”

So healthcare professionals may need to help people improve sleep quality so that they can increase their levels of physical activity. And increasing physical activity could also improve sleep quality, even when people have low energy and feel tired.

Click here to read the original research.

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