08 July, 2011
Lifting Weights & Insomnia
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle involves getting proper food, exercise and sleep. Striking a steady balance among these lifestyle elements is essential for overall fitness, and when you’re deficient in one area, it usually affects the other areas. For example, getting plenty of exercise helps promote sleep. Twenty to 30 minutes of exercise a day helps alleviate insomnia. Athletes such as weightlifters also note the direct connection between strength training and sleep.
Lifting weights routinely can help to ease stress and insomnia, according to the Training Station website. Strength training provides many health benefits and helps regulate important functions in the body, such as resting glucose metabolism, metabolic rate and blood pressure, which contribute to stress reduction and more restful nights. Strength training creates constructive physical changes in your body that also help you cope better with daily stress and help you get a better night’s sleep. Overall, your coping mechanisms are stronger; therefore, you sleep more peacefully.
Confidence and Control
Strength training improves your physical and emotional condition. When you feel more confident and in control of your body, it carries over into your daily life and regular sleep routine. Exercise such as weightlifting helps relieve insomnia caused by necessary personal changes, according to Dr. Leslie Becker-Phelps in "Workout for Your Well-Being." People often develop sleeping problems before and during these changes because they experience fear and might feel out of control. Such changes are often difficult, and people need healthy ways to cope with them — such as exercise. Weightlifting improves strength, muscle tone and posture, which leads to feeling more confident and in control of your environment, as well as your life.
Following a regular workout routine such as a weekly weightlifting regimen helps with maintain a structured schedule. Healthy sleep habits are easy to develop with a consistent schedule and daily exercise. Lift weights a few times per week and participate in aerobic exercise on the days you don’t lift. Work out in the afternoon or early evening, at least five to six hours before you go to bed. Avoid exercising right before bed, because exercise stimulation can cause sleep disturbances.
Besides helping you sleep better, weight training also helps you fall asleep faster and sleep more deeply. Deep sleep and muscle growth are interdependent. A good night’s sleep promotes your body’s hormone balance, which in turn aids in muscle repair and growth. When you sleep deeply, growth hormone-releasing hormones (GHRH) release more growth hormones into your bloodstream. At the same time, GHRH induces better sleep. Sleep itself encourages tissue repair and growth and helps preserve energy, which is depleted along with growth hormones during daily activity because of stress hormones. Sleep is a necessary and continual healing process.
Consult your doctor before beginning a weightlifting or other new exercise regimen. You should also consult your doctor if your insomnia persists or worsens.
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