Ever feel like you’re stuck in a cycle of not being able to sleep, then feeling groggy the next day? If you’ve been reading along with our ongoing series on getting better sleep, you already know to put your phone away early, limit caffeine and wear the right clothes to bed. If you’re still having trouble nodding off, you may find that more regular exercise has a positive effect on your sleep—but that doesn’t have to mean hitting the treadmill on the daily, if cardio isn’t your favorite thing. It turns out, regular strength training can help you get to sleep faster and improve sleep quality.

 

A recent study that focused on 23,000 adults in Germany found any muscle-strengthening workouts done during a typical week led to reduced sleep ratings of “poor” or “very poor.” This remained true even after adjusting for other factors like high body mass index, chronic disease, age, and smoking. That means that adding a few BODYPUMP® classes or trips to the weight room into your workout schedule could help you get those Zzz’s! Resistance exercises can also lower your risk for anxiety and depression, which are common risk factors for sleep disorders like insomnia.

 

So…why is this? Resistance training helps to regulate important bodily functions like resting glucose metabolism, blood pressure and metabolic rate. These are important for stress reduction and better sleep quality.

 

Most interestingly, according to The Sleep Foundation, the link between exercising regularly and high quality sleep goes in both directions: moderate exercise during the day can help you sleep better, while not getting enough sleep may lead to lower levels of daily physical activity. That means that the better you sleep, the more you work out, and the more you work out, the better you sleep. It’s a real win-win!