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Strength Training and Its Effects on Sleep

Strength Training and Sleep

You know what it feels like to lie awake in the wee hours of the night, tossing and turning. It’s certainly no fun. And a sure way to wake up cranky and tired.

Bad sleep for a day or two, and your mental performance goes down the drain. Bad sleep for longer, and you risk for some serious health issues (1).

So if you’re you’re having trouble sleeping, you’re in luck. Disrupted sleep can be combated, and not just through drugs.

Exercise is a well-known sleep booster, and several studies have backed up that claim(3,4).

Emerging evidence shows that not just aerobic exercise but also resistance training – exercise focusing on improving muscle strength aka weight lifting, will also improve your sleep.

A study found that just four 30-minute sessions of resistance training was enough to improve your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep. If you exercise early in the morning, you’ll be able to fall asleep faster. If your session is int he evening, you’re more likely to stay asleep through the night(5). Not a bad return for 30-minutes.

The older you get, the more likely you’re to have problems sleeping. So what to do?

One study showed that elderly individuals who participated in a 7-week program of strength training and walking in combination with other social group activities experienced the best sleep quality compared to other residents who only performed either strength training and walking or only participated in social activities(6).

Our number one tip? You’ve probably guessed it.

If you’re struggling with sleep, build out a routine that you can follow every night. Exercise at the same time, have a cut-off time for coffee, and put your phone away an hour before bed. You’ll be amazed at the results.

The effects of exercise on the brain and sleep are pretty remarkable. At GENEius, we can help you know more about your brain and how to keep it healthy than any time in human history. Whether you’re a parent, student, professional, or retiree, we’ll help you unlock your cognitive potential.

Sign up below to receive tips, tricks, and methods to improve all aspects of your cognitive function.


1.           Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Sleep Medicine and Research; Colten HR, Altevogt BM, editors. Sleep Disorders and Sleep Deprivation: An Unmet Public Health Problem. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2006. 3, Extent and Health Consequences of Chronic Sleep Loss and Sleep Disorders. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK19961/.

2.           Ju Y-ES, Ooms SJ, Sutphen C, Macauley SL, Zangrilli MA, Jerome G, et al. Slow wave sleep disruption increases cerebrospinal fluid amyloid-β levels. Brain. 2017;140(8):2104-11.

3.           Kline CE. The bidirectional relationship between exercise and sleep: Implications for exercise adherence and sleep improvement. American journal of lifestyle medicine. 2014;8(6):375-9.

4.           Yang P-Y, Ho K-H, Chen H-C, Chien M-Y. Exercise training improves sleep quality in middle-aged and older adults with sleep problems: a systematic review. Journal of Physiotherapy.58(3):157-63.

5.           R Alley J, W Mazzochi J, Smith C, Morris D, Collier S. Effects of Resistance Exercise Timing on Sleep Architecture and Nocturnal Blood Pressure2014.

6.           Richards KC, Lambert C, Beck CK, Bliwise DL, Evans WJ, Kalra GK, et al. Strength Training and Walking Exercise and Social Activity Improve Sleep in Nursing Home and Assisted Living Residents: Randomized Controlled Trial. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. 2011;59(2):214-23.