How to sleep: The best exercise to do before bed – ‘Superior when it comes to better ZZZs’

Jim Donovan details trick to help with falling asleep

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Sleeping is key at any stage of life. It helps the body recover and regenerate while also strengthening the mind. According to the NHS, adults need between six and nine hours of sleep each night. Poor quality or lack of sleep could lead to high blood pressure, weight gain, diabetes, inflammation, and cardiovascular disease. Resistance exercise could be an excellent promoter of sleep, a recent study has argued.

Research funded by the American Heart Association looked at almost 400 adults who were mostly sleep-deprived.

More than one-third of them reported having poor quality sleep.

Around 42 percent of them were getting less than seven hours of sleep at the beginning of the study.

Over a period of 12 months, they took part in supervised exercise sessions divided into three groups: aerobic exercise, resistance training, and combined aerobic and resistance.

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The study found that “sleep duration increased by an average of 40 minutes in 12 months” for people doing resistance training only.

Also participants completing aerobic only and combined training sessions were able to sleep longer.

However, the increase in sleeping time was almost halved (23 and 17 minutes respectively) if compared to the resistance training group.

Researchers also found that the time it took subjects to fall asleep decreased by three minutes in the resistance group.

“It is increasingly recognized that getting enough sleep, particularly high-quality sleep, is important for health including cardiovascular health,” commented study author Doctor Angelique Brellenthin.

Aerobic exercise is often recommended to improve sleep.

However, this recent study has shown all the potential of resistance training.

“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 ZZZs at night,” Doctor Brellenthin said.

Resistance training in the trial included sets and repetitions performed with 12 resistance machines.

The training worked on all major muscle groups.

Participants usually performed three sets of repetitions at 50-60 percent of their one-rep maximum.

“Therefore, if your sleep has gotten noticeably worse over the past two stressful 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,” concluded Doctor Brellenthin.

Apart from helping with sleep, resistance training can also improve muscle strength and tone, protecting the body from injuries.

Strength training is also vital to gain and maintain balance and flexibility.

As more, it is good to prevent and manage chronic conditions like heart disease, back pain, diabetes, and depression.

This type of exercise also increases stamina, enhancing the ability to perform everyday tasks without getting tired.

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