Sven Aarrestad was born at Varhaug in Rogaland county, Norway. He was the eldest of six siblings born to his parents, farmer Eivind Torkelsen Aarrestad (1820–1902) and Inger Svensdatter Skretting (1829–1922). When he was four years old, his family moved to Årrestad in the community of Time, where he attended private school. From 1868–1869, he attended the teachers' college in Egersund. He was a teacher from 1869–73 in Høyland. From 1873–75, he went to the seminary in Stord. From 1875–76, he was a teacher in Brevik, from 1876–78 in Tønsberg, and from 1878–91, managed a high school at Sande in Vestfold. He was a farmer in Sande from 1891–1906 and the mayor of Sande from 1899 to 1906.
The work of Asbjørn Kloster had aroused Aarrestad's interest in the temperance movement. In 1877 he published his first book on this topic Kom og hjælp os!. From 1883–1905 and 1922–1927, he was editor of Menneskevennen, which was published by the Norwegian temperance movement (Det norske Totalafholdsselskab). He was chairman of the Norwegian temperance movement from 1887–1927. He published more than 100 books and pamphlets, most regarding the use of alcohol. From 1892–94, he represented Jarlsberg and Larvik in the Norwegian Parliament. From 1900–1909, he was a member of the executive committee of the Norwegian Liberal Party. From 1906 to 1908, he was agriculture minister in Michelsen's Cabinet and Jørgen Løvland administration. In 1908, he was appointed Governor of Nedenes.
In 1901, Sven Aarrestad was decorated Knight, First class, and in 1908 Commander of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav. Aarrestad was also the holder of the Grand Cross of the Order of the Dannebrog. His last years were spent on his property Soltuft in Arendal, where he died 1942.
- Kom og hjælp os!, 1877
- Bibelen og Afholdssagen, 1889
- Samlagsspørgsmaalet, with Andreas Lavik, 1895
- Praktisk sundhedslære for skole og hjem, 1900
- Vort Stræv mod Rusdrikkene: Indlæg i Døgnets Strid, 1905
- Avholdsfolket og det nye ølet: foredrag, 1913
- Elisabeth Edland. Et liv i det godes tjeneste, 1920
- Ta lærdom av livet, 1923
- Min stilling til forbudet i 1911, 1926
- Om avvæpning (1927)
- Den store sak i vår tid, 1930
- Spredte trekk fra kampen om forbudet i Norge, 1933
- Asbjørn Kloster og litt om den tid som fostret ham, 1935
- Brev til Annie, 1935
- Fuglum, Per. "Sven Aarrestad". In Helle, Knut. Norsk biografisk leksikon (in Norwegian). Oslo: Kunnskapsforlaget. Retrieved 4 August 2010.
- "Christian Michelsen's Government. 11 March 1905 – 23 October 1907". Government Administration Services. Retrieved 4 August 2010.
- "Jørgen G. Løvland's Government (23.10.1907–18.03.1908)". Norsk samfunnsvitenskapelig datatjeneste AS. Retrieved 4 August 2010.
- Slapgard, Bjarne Sven Aarrestad. Ein folkeførar, 1933
- K. Haave: Sven Aarrestad. Et riss av livsverket hans, 1944
|County Governor of Nedenes
Hans Thomas Knudtzon