Doctors and nosy neighbors have long recommended exercise to help people who can’t sleep, usually pointing to jogging or similar aerobic activity. But a new study finds that strength training is better for catching z’s.
In the study, 386 sleepless people were divided into four groups: no exercise, aerobic exercise, resistance exercise, and a mix. The resistance strength trainers slept an average of 40 extra minutes every night. That’s compared to 23 additional minutes for the aerobic runners. The resistance people went to sleep earlier than the others, too. Three minutes earlier, but still.
When a muscle gets worked, it tears. That’s the point of lifting weights, to create a bunch of tiny microtears. The body then sends nutrition and blood to heal the area and that’s how you get the big guns. Researchers think that the healing process requires sleep.
Looks like it’s time to start counting reps instead of counting sheep.