Did you know that poor sleep quality has been linked to low immune system function and a number of other chronic conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes? Getting enough sleep is important, not just for being able to wake up in the morning, but for your overall health and wellness. If you’re struggling to get a great night’s sleep, you are not alone; sleep disorders are incredibly common (for example, about 1 in 4 Americans report experiencing insomnia). However, some studies suggest that strength training may be able to help you to enhance the quality of your sleep, as well as benefit your general health.
The Link Between Sleep And Exercise
Exercise and sleep have a direct link to one another, sometimes referred to as a bidirectional relationship. This means that your sleep quality has a direct link to your ability to perform physical activity; i.e. when you have a bad night’s sleep it will negatively affect your physical activity, and if you reduce your levels of physical activity, it will negatively affect your sleep. Previous studies have shown that regular aerobic activities, such as walking and jogging, improve overall sleep quality.
Strength Training And Sleep: The Research
A study published in Mental Health and Physical Activity had participants perform 30 minute strength training sessions three times every week for nine weeks. At the end of the study, the participants (who all suffered from PTSD; a common symptom being poor sleep quality) reported much better sleep quality overall.
Another study, published in Preventive Medicine Reports, looked at participants relationship between their strength training habits and sleep quality. Those who did regular strength training workouts were less likely to report bad sleeping habits than those who did not.
Why Strength Training?
While, as mentioned earlier, aerobic exercises have already been shown to improve sleep quality, strength training workouts are recommended due to the other physical benefits that they can provide. Strength training helps to build muscle and bone strength, as well as regulating bodily functions such as metabolism, blood pressure, and glucose levels. All of this ensures that your body is functioning as well as it can, which will help you to sleep better and relax. There is also the added bonus of working your body with more intensity, as when you lift weights or perform body-resistance exercises, you cause micro-tears in your muscles. These micro-tears are gradually repaired by your body over several hours, meaning that your body will keep running at a higher rate, increasing metabolism and burning calories. This will help you use energy in the body, helping you feel tired and ready to sleep at the end of the day.
In conclusion, if you are looking to improve your quality of sleep, strength training might be the way to do it – and it will help you to improve your general health and wellbeing at the same time!
Strength training is just one of the ways in which you can get fit. Find out about the other ways in which you can achieve your fitness goal with our Personal Training Diploma. Read more here.