Authors not present among participants of either group

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Last updated: September 28, 2019

Authorsof International Journal of SportPsychology collected data to test their hypothesis that regular exercisewould have positive influences on sleep characteristics and working memoryability, as well as to investigate the hypothesized interaction between sleepand exercise and the resulting effect on working memory. Young adults (17-25 yearsold) were recruited from full-time undergraduate programs via campus campaigns.Participants were assigned to groups of regular exercisers and non-regularexercisers based off of World Health Organization recommended MET scores. Age,sex, year of education, GPA, and BMI were recorded during initial healthinterviews.

Over a five-day period, sleep habits and characteristics wererecorded from both groups by self-report and actigraphy measures collected viathe Micro Motionlogger Sleep Watch. The exercise group also self-reported time,duration, and type of all exercises. On the sixth day, participants completedPSQI questionnaires, evaluating sleep quality, and N-back memory tasks, testingfor reaction time and accuracy. Results indicated that regular exercisers didnot have better sleep characteristics that non-regular exercisers,contradicting the initial hypothesis. Regular exercisers did exhibit fasterresponse times than non-regular exercisers during working memory tasks but nothigher accuracy rates, suggesting that regular exercise plays a role in executivefunction but not in cognitive ability. It is also of note that the benefits ofexercise on working memory were not present among participants of either group thatreported insufficient amounts of sleep. 

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