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Weight Training May Improve Sleep More Than Aerobic Exercise

Do you know that a third of Americans suffer from lack of sleep?

Crazy right?

Well, the answer to how this problem can be solved is just adding one extra type of exercise into your routine.

What are we talking about exactly…?

Weight training

Weight training is not just beneficial for the sake of getting you in better shape but is a way of approaching your training that has varied benefits. In this case, it is the subsequent advantage of having better sleep, in both quality and quantity.

Also referred to as resistance training, weight training has a host of benefits. A recent study at the American Heart Association goes to prove that resistance training is superior to aerobic exercises, particularly at helping you sleep longer hours and getting better quality sleep.

So what’s happening exactly?

Evidence from the study proves resistance exercises to be very efficient at stressing the body post-workout, which causes fatigue. This happens because, during a resistance training exercise, you’re pushing your body to peak levels of effort.

It is exactly this fatigue that induces feelings of drowsiness signaling to your body that it needs rest. This coupled with the fact that resistance training causes your body to produce adenosine, a sleep hormone, results in not only more hours of sleep but better quality sleep (REM sleep) most commonly known as deep sleep.

So it turns out that this type of sleep is good for us in the recovery part of our workouts. Particularly the recovery of muscles because of the delays and onset of muscle soreness. This “deep sleep” if you will, is also responsible for improvements in regulating things such as anxiety, depression, pain relief and better alterations in energy expenditure. But what is most important is that resistance training is great for your cardiovascular health and does so more effectively than aerobic exercise.

What about aerobic exercises?

Although aerobic exercises promote better sleep to a lesser degree than resistance exercises, it doesn’t mean there is no place for them. Physicians have long recommended aerobics to promote better sleep.

A good option is to use a combination of both weight training and aerobic exercises. This will be helpful, as it is the most balanced approach to exercise.


Incorporating resistance training as part of your workout has innumerable benefits. Particularly if you’re looking to improve your sleeping patterns. It is, however, important that you know that no one resistance exercise can induce these types of benefits. A holistic workout program that systematically targets all areas of the body throughout the week will do the trick. Compound exercises are incredibly effective at this.

So make sure you include resistance training as part of your workout regimen to reap the full benefits of sleep. It won’t be easy, but what is most certain is that you will work up a sweat doing so and a gym towel is always handy at wiping it off.

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