Exercise Helps You Sleep, But Which Workout Is Best? | Health & Fitness

dennis thompson

THURSDAY, March 3, 2022 (HealthDay News) — People struggling with poor sleep often hit the sidewalk, treadmill or bike, thinking aerobic exercise will give them a few more minutes of restful sleep.

They’d be better off lifting some weights, a new study argues.

Resistance exercise appears to be better than aerobic exercise as a way to improve your 40 winks if you’re having trouble sleeping, researchers reported Thursday at an American Heart Association meeting in Chicago.

For study participants who hadn’t regularly been getting at least seven hours of sleep, weight training added an average of 40 minutes of sleep, said lead researcher Angelique Brellenthin, an assistant professor of kinesiology at Iowa State University.

By comparison, aerobic exercise increased sleep time by 23 minutes in another group with similar sleep problems, Brellenthin said.

“Basically, resistance exercise nearly doubled the extra sleep duration they got as a result of being part of this study,” he said.

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Between 30 percent and 50 percent of adults report poor-quality sleep, with more than a third regularly getting less than seven hours of sleep, the researchers said in background notes.

Poor sleep is not just a nuisance, it is a health hazard. Poor sleep increases the overall risk of death by 24% and the risk of heart-related death by 42%, the researchers said.

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