The National Sleep Foundation is "dedicated to improving sleep health and safety through education, public awareness, and advocacy." The goals of the National Sleep Foundation includes "ensuring that Americans are aware that their sleep is an important component of their health and safety, and that they make obtaining sufficient sleep a priority." In a news release on March 4, 2013, the National Sleep Foundation has reported, National Sleep Foundation Poll Finds Exercise Key to Good Sleep.
The results of the National Sleep Foundation’s 2013 Sleep in America poll have demonstrated a compelling association between exercise and better sleep. David Cloud, CEO of the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), has said, “Exercise is great for sleep. For the millions of people who want better sleep, exercise may help." Self-described exercisers have reported better sleep than self-described non-exercisers even though they each say overall they sleep the same amount each night (6 hours and 51 minutes, average on weeknights). It has been found that vigorous, moderate and light exercisers are much more likely to say “I had a good night’s sleep” every night or almost every night on work nights than non-exercisers (67%-56% vs. 39%). Furthermore, greater than three-fourths of exercisers (76%-83%) say their sleep quality was very good or fairly good in the past two weeks, in comparison to slightly more than one-half of non-exercisers (56%).
Max Hirshkowitz, PhD, poll task force chair, has said, “If you are inactive, adding a 10 minute walk every day could improve your likelihood of a good night’s sleep. Making this small change and gradually working your way up to more intense activities like running or swimming could help you sleep better.” Hirshkowitz has added, “Our poll data certainly find strong relationships between good sleep and exercise. While cause and effect can be tricky, I don’t think having good sleep necessarily compels us to exercise. I think it is much more likely that exercising improves sleep. And good sleep is fundamental for good health, productivity, and happiness.” Dr. Barbara Phillips, poll task force member, has said, “Exercise is beneficial to sleep. It's time to revise global recommendations for improving sleep and put exercise—any time—at the top of our list for healthy sleep habits."