The Intimate Relationship Between Fitness and Sleep
When it comes to working out, you know that what you do in the gym is important. But what you do outside the gym — what you eat, what you drink, and mainly how you sleep, is just as crucial. In fact, you must sleep in order for exercise to actually work.
“We exercise for a motive : for cardiovascular health, to grow lean muscle mass, to improve toleration , and more. All of these ‘goals’ bear sleep,” says W. Christopher Winter, MD, the president of Charlottesville Neurology and Sleep Medicine and the author of The Sleep Solution: Why Your Sleep Is Broken and How to Fix It.
In other words, without sleep, exercise does not deliver those advantages , Dr. Winter explains. “If you don’t sleep, you erode your body.”
Regular Exercise Can Absolutely Help You Sleep
Can exercise help you sleep? completely . And if you’ve never experienced that immediate sleep-inducing exhaustion one might experience after a day of hiking or a grueling boot camp class, there’s a ton of scientific research to back up this claim, too.
In one study published in the journal Sleep Medicine, individuals with a self-reported sleep time of less than 6.5 hours completed moderate-intensity workouts (think walking, riding a stationary bicycle, or running or walking on a treadmill) four times a week for six weeks. (3) At the end of the experiment, they reported getting an extra 75 minutes of sleep per night — more than any drug has helped deliver, according to the study authors.
Does Getting Better Sleep Help My Workout?
Again, the short answer is yes. The better rested you are, the better your mind and body function — and that includes at the gym. Adequate sleep has been proved to help motivate people to stick to their exercise plans and work out the next day, according to research published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. The more sleep time loan in this study got, the more likely they were to complete their moment regimen.