Giving Your Muscles a Good Workout Can Help You Sleep Better
We all know that we should be exercising more and all the health benefits that accompany such exercise.
But now researchers have found that bench presses are even better than a good run for ensuring a good night's sleep. Giving muscles a good workout is often more effective than aerobic exercises. That said, of course all exercise is good!
How was the study conducted?
Dr. Angelique Brellenthin of Iowa State University led the research, comparing the effect of three supervised one hour sessions a week of resistance training -such as working out on leg or chest press machines, with aerobic exercises such as running on treadmills or riding exercise bikes.
After a year, participants in the resistance group were getting an extra forty minutes of sleep a night compared with a small increase of twenty three minutes for the aerobic group.
Before the study began, participants had been getting less than seven hours sleep.
Dr. Angelique Brellenthin said: "While both aerobic and resistance exercise are important for overall health,our results suggest that resistance exercises may be superior when it comes to getting better Zs at night."
More advice following the study
The doctor went on to say: "Resistance exercise significantly improved sleep duration and sleep efficiency, which are critical indicators of sleep quality that reflects how well a person falls asleep and stays asleep throughout the night.
Therefore, if your sleep has gotten noticeably worse over the past couple of years, consider incorporating two or more resistance exercise training sessions into your regular exercise routine to improve your general muscle and bone health, as well as your sleep."
The doctor presented her findings at the American Heart Association's Epidemiology, Prevention, Lifestyle & Cardiometabolic Health Conference in Chicago, USA.
What are the risks of too little or poor quality sleep?
The recommended amount of sleep for adults is at least seven to eight hours per night. If you become sleep deprived, you run the risk of higher blood pressure, elevated cholesterol and even atherosclerosis. Weight gain and then diabetes are other risks along with stroke and heart attack.
What are other natural ways to help you sleep more soundly?
- Improve your melatonin production by ensuring you have a darkened bedroom for sleeping as melatonin production is increased by darkness. Use blackout curtains or blinds if necessary and remove any artificial light, putting away digital devices, mobile phones and bright alarm clocks well before going to sleep.
- Avoiding foods or drinks before bedtime that will induce stress hormone production or cause blood sugar imbalances during the night. Examples include heavy meals, sugar, caffeine and alcohol.
- Daytime light exposure will promote a regular circadian rhythm of melatonin and help ensure higher levels at night time.
- Adding a few drops of our own H-Sleep Aid Formula either to your warm and soothing bedtime bath or to the back of the neck before settling down. will provide a natural sleep remedy for mild to chronic sleeplessness.
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