Nocturnal activity is not affected by a long-duration, low-intensity single exercise bout

Georgia I. Mitrou, Christoforos D. Giannaki, Christina Karatzaferi, Georgios M. Hadjigeorgiou, Eleftherios Lavdas, Maria D. Maridaki, Ioannis Stefanidis, Giorgos K. Sakkas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of the current study was to examine whether prolonged low-intensity aerobic exercise could affect nocturnal activity in healthy individuals. Twenty-one healthy adults (24 ± 3.7 years; 9 females) were enrolled in this study. All participants participated in a 3-h low-intensity walking exercise protocol. Standard biochemical indices were assessed before the exercise protocol and at 72 h. Nocturnal activity and various indices of health were recorded for five consecutive days. The score of muscle pain peaked the night after the exercise protocol (p < 0.05) and returned to baseline two days after. No statistical differences were found in any of the parameters examined, including nocturnal activity. Prolonged low-intensity exercise does not affect nocturnal activity. The anecdotal reports suggesting that exercise or/and physical activity could worsen symptoms of motor restlessness during sleep in sleep disorders, such as restless legs syndrome and periodic limb movements, are not supported by this study. However, these findings need to be verified in clinical populations, as well as by using protocols with different forms of exercise.

Original languageEnglish
Article number56
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019


  • Exercise
  • Fatigue
  • Periodic limb movements
  • Restlessness
  • Sleep


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