It’s early morning and your alarm clock is buzzing. You’d planned to hit the gym for an early morning workout, but you’re completely exhausted and getting out of bed feels like a battle. You know that working out will help you feel accomplished and beat the day’s stresses, but you also know that getting enough sleep is a big part of healthy living.
On mornings like this, it’s hard not to wonder: Is it better to sleep in or workout?
Not surprisingly, the answer is complicated and varies from person to person.
Ideally, you’ll have enough time in the day to get a full night’s rest and a heartbeat-raising workout, in addition to finishing everything else on your to-do list. According to Christopher Kline, PhD, assistant professor in the department of health and physical activity at the University of Pittsburgh was quoted in a recent article as stating the following: "Obviously, you want to do both, get sufficient sleep and be physically active — that would be ideal."
If you’re sleep deprived, then hit snooze
“Studies show that when people get less than six hours — meaning they were sleep deprived — they’re more prone to athletic injuries,” stated Robert Rosenberg, D.O., board-certified sleep medicine physician and author of Sleep Soundly Every Night, Feel Fantastic Every Day a recent Women’s Health magazine article.
If you want to avoid injury and maximize athletic performance, it’s okay to skip a workout to get some more sleep when you’re deprived.
However, if you can take a short nap before 2 p.m. consider pushing through the sleepiness to get your workout in. Just be sure to keep your siesta under an hour. If you nap for longer it makes it harder to fall asleep once it’s time for bed.
Clearly, sleep and exercise are both very important parts of a healthy lifestyle, but it depends on each individual, sleeping patterns, and schedules. The amount of sleep you need is highly personal, but most adults should aim for 7 to 9 hours a night. When you do feel rested enough to exercise, remember that a quick workout is better than no workout at all. Additionally, building a regular workout routine will lead to improved sleeping habits.
These 30 Minute Workouts For Maximizing Your Time in the Gym are great for days when you’re pressed for time. You can also accomplish a great workout right at home, just check out this helpful guide: Get a Full-Body Workout in 20 Minutes with these Stability Ball Exercises.