Quality sleep is crucial for maintaining overall health but it can be easier said than done. A lot of people struggle to fall asleep even after a long day. They spend half the night tossing around and can’t seem to relax and shut of their body and their brain from going over the events of the day and what will happen tomorrow. By the time they finally drift off, it’s time to wake up. The result? They remain tired all day long, and their personal and professional life suffers.
For a long time, people have believed aerobic exercise a valuable ally in the effort to fall asleep quickly and to stay asleep. While it’s true that aerobic exercise can indeed make it easier to sleep, there’s another alternative too which has proven to be even more effective. And that’s resistance training.
Recent studies have revealed that resistance training is, in fact, a better way to improve your quality of sleep. There’s a lot that we have discovered about the benefits of resistance training. Let’s dig deep into it.
Resistance Training Vs. Aerobic Exercise: Which is Better For Sleep?
First things first, let’s talk about what exactly resistance training refers to. Resistance training is any form of activity that improves muscle fitness by exercising against external resistance.
During this exercise, your muscles have to contract against an external resistance. This results in an increase in power, strength, and endurance. The external resistance can be anything from dumbbells bricks or even your own body weight. The goal is to cause the muscles to contract. Resistance training can be part of an intense, low impact workout.
On the other hand, aerobic exercise is designed for cardiovascular conditioning. During this routine, breathing controls the amount of oxygen received by the muscles. The oxygen stimulates the muscles to burn more fuel and move.
Understanding The Importance Of Quality Sleep
It’s human nature not to give something importance until we realize just how beneficial it is for our health and quality of life. Perhaps this is the reason that most people don’t do anything about not getting enough sleep.
It’s prudent to keep in mind that high-quality sleep is crucial for your cardiovascular sleep. You are actually jeopardizing your health by not getting enough sleep. If you don’t sleep for up to 7 to 8 hours daily, you are at an increased chance of developing high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, and even elevated cholesterol.
Not only that, but lack of sleep can also contribute to weight gain and lead to diabetes. It can put you at risk of heart attack and even early death. Sounds scary, doesn’t it?
Effects Of Resistance Training
According to the recent published scientific studies, resistance training involving free weights and weight machines can generate better quality sleep compared to aerobic exercise. Of course, there’s more to resistance training than that.
These exercise routines help build lean muscle mass, which enhances your overall metabolic rate. Hence, your muscle is fatigued post the workout. The fatigue coupled with the recovery process of the muscles helps you sleep better.
There’s more. If you sleep after resistance training, you actually burn more calories at rest compared to those who don’t follow this routine.
The thing is, resistance training requires a lot of effort from you compared to aerobic exercise. Hence, you are bound to be drained by the end of it. You will also experience muscle soreness post your workout session. All this will make you tired and inclined to fall asleep so you can recover faster.
To put it in simple terms, going to bed after a rigorous session of resistance training feels much better compared to aerobic exercise routines. And this has been substantiated by many studies and trials.
There’s no particular workout routine you need to follow to improve your quality of sleep. Various resistance workout programs have yielded promising results. So if you are having trouble falling asleep, you know what to do.
If you want to understand better how resistance training is better for quality sleep, there’s a simple explanation. Resistance training leads to the release of a chemical by your body called adenosine. And adenosine promotes sleep. It binds to cellular receptors and inhibits your neural activity. As a result, you feel drowsy and sleep faster.
Indeed, if you indulge in chronic resistance training exercise routines, your sleep quality will be improved by manifold. Resistance training also improves the symptoms related to depression and anxiety. It also increases your body temperature and is an excellent way to deal with musculoskeletal pain too. Hence, resistance training benefits your overall health in more ways than one.
How To Ensure Enhanced Quality Of Sleep
Though resistance training is helpful, we cannot undermine the importance of aerobic exercise. In fact, if you want to make the most of your resistance training and extract maximum benefit out of it, you should combine it with aerobic training.
Using a combination of these two variants of exercise routines will make quite a difference to your sleep quality.
It’s evident that aerobic activity can improve your sleep quantity and quality. So why not get the best of both? With aerobic exercise and resistance training, you won’t only be improving your sleep – you will benefit in other areas of your health too.
Unfortunately, a lot of people are unable to continue the aerobic activity for long due to mobility restrictions or advanced chronic conditions. If that’s the case, you will find resistance training helpful to improve your physical condition, even if you can’t move quickly for long periods of time.
It’s Time To Sleep Better!
Your quality of life depends in part on how well you rest during the night. If your body does not get the time to recover from a day’s stress, you won’t be able to carry on with your activities the next day with enthusiasm. It’s vital to welcome a new day with a fresh mind and body. And this is where resistance training can help you out.
The best thing is that there isn’t any particular type of resistance training you have to opt for. You can decide your ideal workout depending on your preference and requirements. The only thing you have to ensure is that the workout is challenging and physically taxing. Falling asleep post such a session will be a breeze!