THE EARLY-TO-RISE, LATE-TO-BED DILEMMA
If you can only do one, should you choose to sleep in a little longer or to work out? There are only 24 hours in a day and I often feel that it isn’t enough for everything I want to do. So I, along with so many others, am always tempted to cut short the time i spend sleeping. After all, sleep seems as if it is something I have to do when I can’t do anything else.
SLEEP IS LIKE AIR: YOU NEED IT
Sleep is not only essential for your health and fitness, but it’s also vital for feeling good and looking great; it’s not just something you should do when you’re too tired to do anything else. More and more, sleep is now being seen as a way of attaining a more positive outlook and maintaining better health. The basic research is still being done, but there is agreement in the scientific community that the link between sleep and exercise is extremely important, pointing to the idea that you can’t have one without the other.
SLEEP OR EXERCISE?
Chronic sleep problems such as insomnia, are now recognised as a bit of a modern day crisis. We’re told so often that sleep is important- the Mexican actress Dolores del Rio started to sleep for eight hours a night plus short naps in the day, and Arianna Huffington is enthusiastic on the subject of sleeping well and that we may start worrying when we can’t get enough. Poor-quality sleep, waking up in the middle of the night, waking up too early etc… are also becoming major concerns. In my experience, I’ve found that exercise makes sleeping both easier and better- there are studies that also support this hypothesis. Exercising daily, whether it’s a tough workout or a moderately brisk one, can be the key to sleeping well and waking up refreshed.
SHOULD I EXERCISE IF I’M TIRED?
I like to exercise and because I sleep well I’m not usually in the position of being too tired to do something physical. But if you’re ill or have slept badly, I advice that you determine what time you have free and decide how long you want to exercise for and how long you want to rest for. If you have an hour to spare, I suggest maybe exercising for 30 minutes and then resting or napping for 30 minutes. Try to do both exercise and rest if possible! If you’re incredibly tired and sleep deprived, then maybe go for a relaxing walk in the fresh air? Working out hard when extremely fatigued can lead to injury so make sure you’re careful.
Therefore, sleep and exercise really do work hand in hand with each other. If you find you’re too busy juggling work, family life and exercise, why not read my blog post on working out as a family for some helpful tips?