Should you sleep in or work out? Scientists weigh in
The eternal morning dilemma
Being healthy involves a lot of math as you organize your time and portion out your sleep dosage, eating habits, and exercise routines. You need enough of certain things to equal or multiply other things, and if you take away one thing it might set the whole equation off.
Things get especially complicated on those mornings when you're debating lying in bed for another couple hours or dragging yourself to the gym. You've weighed the pros and cons of each option time and again, but which is better?
“Both sleep and exercise are main behaviours that contribute to physical and mental health,” Kelly Glazer Baron, a clinical psychologist and sleep researcher at the Feinberg School of Medicine, told Shape.
Naturally, there is no hard and fast answer, but it's important to consider the mutually beneficial relationship between getting up to exercise and having good, long, quality sleeps.
Baron's research proves that clocking at least seven hours of sleep can help you work out longer and harder the following day, and that people who have trouble sleeping benefit from regular aerobic exercise.
Of course, you should strive to achieve adequate amounts of both, but using that research can help you when it comes to evening out the equation. So, if you got a good amount of sleep the night before, which is between seven and nine hours, it's probably best to push yourself to get up and hit the gym.
On the other hand, if you've been sleeping less than six hours most nights that week, you should focus first on establishing a proper sleep schedule, which, yes, means you should sleep in. But that's only until you get into a good rhythm.
If you were up all night, it's best not to force yourself to work out, as your coordination will be off, so exercise becomes more dangerous. Your workout will also feel more difficult, which puts a strain on both your physical and mental state. Another reason to sleep in is if you've been killing it at the gym all week, you need to give your body time to rest and repair.
But, if you've only worked out once the entire week and had an adequate amount of sleep most nights, you have no excuse. Give that snooze button a break and get moving!
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