Fitness

The Connection Between Strength Training & Better Sleep

Plus, three ways to get more strength training into your routine.

By: Emily Freeman

You roll over, open your eyes, and let out a big sigh of frustration. It’s been an hour since you shut out the lights and got curled up in bed, and yet you haven’t had a minute of sleep yet. You lay there for a minute wondering if you should read a book. You’re tired, so that doesn’t sound appealing, and you’re sure if you just close your eyes one more time, it will be the moment you fall asleep. Sometimes you’re right, but when you have too many restless nights too frequently, it starts to wear on you. 

If you’re feeling alone in this struggle, just know 68% of adults in the US say they have trouble sleeping at least once per week. Between work, children, relationships, health, and the very unpredictable state of our world right now, there are plenty of worries that can keep us up at night if we don’t know how to manage our minds and bodies. If you’re looking for a better night’s sleep, science has shown that incorporating strength training improves the quality of sleep, helps you fall asleep faster, and wake up less throughout the night. 

RELATED: 20 Life-Changing Sleep Hacks For When You’re Tired of Being Tired 

3 Ways to Improve Sleep Through Strength Training 

Strength training for sleep is as simple as incorporating exercises that build muscle. However, depending on your fitness level, access to equipment, or other fitness goals, this can look different for everyone. We’ve put together the top three ways to include strength training for sleep to get you started.

#1 Using Equipment For Traditional Strength Training

Whether you’re using strength machines, resistance bands, dumbbells, or barbells, adding resistance to your strength workouts is the quickest way to build the lean muscle mass equated with a better night’s sleep. If you want some extra guidance and motivation from our expert trainers, check out the strength category in the FitOn app. Whether you’re just starting out or a seasoned fitness person, there’s a workout for everyone. 

#2 HIIT It (No, We’re Not Talking About the Snooze Button) 

If you’re looking to burn extra calories while also building muscle, try adding in plyometric exercises like Burpees, mountain climbers, and jump squats. HIIT workouts are some of the most effective if you want to lose fat while building muscle. Just remember, less can be more when it comes to these high-intensity workouts. For better sleep and all the other amazing benefits, press play on a HIIT workout from the app a few times per week on non-consecutive days. 

#3 Using Your Body Weight From Anywhere 

Don’t have any strength equipment? Not a problem! Muscle-building exercises can be just as effective using your body weight as resistance. The secret to getting the most out of your bodyweight workouts is to tune in to your muscle-mind connection. Concentrate on the muscles you want to flex during each exercise. For example, during a squat, on the way up, really focus on squeezing your glutes on the way up to activate your booty. 

Feel More Rested Tomorrow

Looking for more sleep hacks? Give yourself a head start by preparing your body for sleep right before you hit the pillow with a sleep-inducing stretch, Yoga routine, and/or meditation. All of the Before Bed routines in the FitOn app are designed to relax your body and mind to induce a deeper, more restful night’s sleep. 

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