When it comes to working out, you know what you do in the gym matters. But what you do outside the gym: what you eat, what you drink, and especially how you sleep is just as crucial. In fact, you have to sleep for the exercise to be really effective.

We exercise for a specific purpose: for cardiovascular health, to increase lean muscle mass, to improve endurance, etc. All of these “goals” require sleep.
Without sleep, exercise does not provide these benefits. If you don’t sleep, you weaken your body.

Sleep gives your body time to recover, conserve energy, repair and strengthen muscles worked during exercise. When we get enough good quality sleep, the body produces growth hormone. During childhood and adolescence, growth hormone makes us grow, as its name suggests. And when we’re older, it helps us build lean muscle and helps our bodies repair themselves when we’ve been torn during an intense workout. Growth hormone is essential for athletic recovery.

The problem is, we have a major problem when it comes to sleep: Over 30% of us get poor quality sleep, meaning we don’t get the seven to eight hours a night recommended for the adults. This means that these people are also sabotaging their own fitness goals.

Regular exercise can absolutely help you sleep

Can exercise help you sleep?

Absolutely. And if you’ve never experienced the instant sleep-inducing exhaustion after a day of hiking or a grueling class at a boot camp, there’s a ton of scientific research to back that claim up. In one study, people with a reported sleep time of less than 6.5 hours performed moderate-intensity workouts (walking, stationary bike, running, or walking on a treadmill) four times per week for six weeks. At the end of the experiment, they reported getting an extra 75 minutes of sleep per night, more than any medication could provide, according to the study authors.

Exercise actually has a chemical effect on the brain

Physical activity creates more adenosine in the brain, and adenosine makes us sleepy. Fun fact: Adenosine is the chemical that caffeine blocks to make you feel more alert. The more we exercise, the more this chemical pushes us to sleep.

Exercising also helps you maintain your circadian rhythm, or your body’s internal clock. Exercise helps your body understand the schedule it follows, and morning exercise prepares your body to sleep better at night.

But what about exercise at the end of the day?

While it’s possible that exercising at night will keep you awake longer, science says it’s all about choosing the right type of exercise and finding the right exercise schedule for you.
According to one study, people who said they put in more effort before bed actually slept more efficiently. They also fell asleep faster, slept more soundly and woke up less during the night. Another study found that moderate-intensity workouts before bedtime helped ease pre-sleep anxiety.

That said, it’s probably best to stick to low-intensity workouts, like yoga, pilates, or barre, if you plan to sweat close to bedtime. Research has shown that high-intensity exercise delays falling asleep, possibly due to the increased heart rate after the gym session.

Try to find what works for you. Every person is different when it comes to whether a particular workout can be challenging. If you have trouble falling asleep, raising your heart rate too close to bedtime may help, but for others, sweating at the end of the day may not affect the sleep.

Why exercise and sleep are your best stress relievers

Can better sleep help me exercise?

Again, the short answer is yes. The more rested you are, the better your body and mind function, including in the gym. According to one study, adequate sleep has been shown to help motivate people to stick to their exercise plans and train the next day. The more people in the study slept, the more likely they were to complete their exercise program.

Getting enough sleep can not only give you more energy and strength to optimize your workout, but its effects on focus, mood, and attention can make you more efficient and better prepared for that workout. .

On the other hand, lack of sleep can make exercise more difficult. Sleep deprivation does not affect cardiovascular and respiratory responses to exercise, aerobic and anaerobic performance capacity, muscle strength, or electromechanical responses. This means that, from a biomechanical point of view, there is no reason for sleep to reduce your physical abilities. But you’ll tire faster if you sleep less, which will make it feel harder to train at your peak.

In fact, even after just one sleepless night, endurance performance on a treadmill drops, likely because the exercise feels harder.

That’s not to say that getting seven to eight hours of sleep a night will turn you into a speed demon or a sports superstar. Extra sleep won’t necessarily make you faster, stronger, or improve your times or performance. Rather, sleep loss is related to physiological reactions, such as autonomic nervous system imbalances, which are similar to symptoms of overtraining such as sore muscles and increased risk of injury, which can hamper your performance.
Is it better to exercise early in the morning or sleep an extra hour?

Getting enough sleep and exercising regularly are both important, so how do you decide which one takes priority? You really shouldn’t put yourself in this position because you absolutely need both.

But if it’s not possible to find that perfect balance all the time, sleep is always the priority, unless your sleep is almost always of good quality and quantity.

So if you slept seven to eight hours the night before, get up and go exercise! But if you’ve slept less than six hours most nights of the week, you should probably relish that extra hour of sleep. If you skip it, chances are your workout will be poor anyway.

And if you haven’t slept all night before, choose sleep. After a sleepless night (or just a few hours of sleep), your body needs rest more than ever.

Bottom line: If you’re not getting the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep per night, you need to rethink your schedule to make sure that’s the case and then you need to figure out how to fit in your regular workouts without sacrificing that. sleep. You can’t have one without the other. Both are absolutely essential for you to be able to function at 100%, not only in the gym, but also in your daily life.

* criptom strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE, the information given can not replace the opinion of a health professional.