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Study: Strength Training May Be Better Than Cardio for Sleep

If you’re looking to up your workout’s sleep-boosting effects, try strength training, new data says.

Also known as resistance training, it helps you build muscle and improve flexibility, posture, and bone density. Now new research suggests strength training trumps cardio when it comes to better sleep outcomes.

The new data from researchers at Iowa State University found that for people struggling with sleep who were previously sedentary and overweight, consistent strength training workouts helped with falling asleep faster, staying asleep longer, and feeling rested and refreshed the next day compared with aerobic workouts or not exercising at all.

“This is the first big study to directly compare the effects of different types of exercise on sleep on a general adult population,” says Angelique Brellenthin, PhD, an assistant professor of kinesiology at Iowa State University in Ames.