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Physical activity is considered an effective method to improve sleep quality in adolescents and adults. However, there is mixed evidence among children. Our objectives were to investigate this association in children and to examine potential moderating variables. Eight databases were systematically searched, and we included all study designs with a sample of healthy children ages 3-13 years-old. We identified 47 studies for meta-analysis. Overall, we found little association between physical activity and sleep (r = 0.02, 95% confidence interval = -0.03 to 0.07). There was a high amount of heterogeneity in the overall model (I = 93%). However, none of the examined variables significantly moderated the overall effect, including age, gender, risk of bias, study quality, measurement methodology, study direction, and publication year. Exploratory analyses showed some weak, but statistically significant associations for vigorous physical activity with sleep (r = 0.09, 95% CI = 0.01 to 0.17, I = 66.3%), specifically sleep duration (r = 0.07, 95% CI = 0.00 to 0.14, I = 41.1%). High heterogeneity and the lack of experimental research suggest our findings should be interpreted with caution. The current evidence, however, shows little support for an association between physical activity and sleep in children.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Sleep medicine reviews
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Periods of sleep manifested by changes in EEG activity and certain behavioral correlates; includes Stage 1: sleep onset, drowsy sleep; Stage 2: light sleep; Stages 3 and 4: delta sleep, light sleep, deep sleep, telencephalic sleep.
Dyssomnias (i.e., insomnias or hypersomnias) associated with dysfunction of internal sleep mechanisms or secondary to a sleep-related medical disorder (e.g., sleep apnea, post-traumatic sleep disorders, etc.). (From Thorpy, Sleep Disorders Medicine, 1994, p187)
Bouts of physical irritability or movement alternating with periods of quiescence. It includes biochemical activity and hormonal activity which may be cellular. These cycles are shorter than 24 hours and include sleep-wakefulness cycles and the periodic activation of the digestive system.
A nonapeptide that is found in neurons, peripheral organs, and plasma. This neuropeptide induces mainly delta sleep in mammals. In addition to sleep, the peptide has been observed to affect electrophysiological activity, neurotransmitter levels in the brain, circadian and locomotor patterns, hormonal levels, psychological performance, and the activity of neuropharmacological drugs including their withdrawal.
Systematic and thorough inspection of the patient for physical signs of disease or abnormality.
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