Sports Coach Logo Sports Coach Training Principles Fitness Components



text Translator



site search facility





Sleep or Exercise

Chris Richards considers which is more important - sleep or exercise?

Yes, we all know that getting enough sleep and exercise are key to staying healthy. But what if you do not have enough time and you feel tired? Is it worth waking up earlier in the morning to squeeze in that workout? It probably has you wondering - do I have to choose between sleeping better or shaving an hour of exercise? So which one is more important - sleep or exercise? Read on as I provide you with a short guide on sleep and exercise to help you learn about their importance.

Sleep or Exercise

I have a feeling you are hoping that it is okay to wake up late and skip your workout, staying in for an extra hour during cold and depressing mornings. Unfortunately, that is not the answer! Quality sleep and regular exercise, as well as healthy eating, helps keep your body functioning at its best. Skimping one over the other is not a good thing, actually, as it has its consequences in the long run.

If you have had a late night and still workout early in the morning, you may have experienced less energy and shortened workouts. And the reason is obvious! If you are low on sleep, you will not have enough motivation to get up, and you will be fatigued. But this does not mean sleeping is more important than working out. If you do stop working out, your sleep will likely suffer. Yes, exercising regularly in the morning can help you sleep better!

I would recommend that you get your seven to nine hours of sleep every night and as long as you feel refreshed when you get up, there is no reason to skip your workout. And if you do feel a bit groggy when you wake up, which is normal, it is still best to suck it up and hit the gym. Remember, one bad night of sleep will not kill you and working out in the morning can help with your sleep later on that night.

If you really cannot get up, then try moving your workout outside, which can help wake you up and make you feel energized while regulating your body's sleep-wake cycle to make it easier to sleep at night.

An Exception to the Rule

Yes, I would definitely recommend that you exercise in mornings even if you are a bit tired. But, if you do end up feeling dead and literally cannot get out of bed after just an hour or two of sleep, then it is best to allow yourself the day off and doze. You may end up slacking on your workout anyway, which has you feel weak and risks you of injury. Additionally, if you are feeling sick, then it is best not to get up to work out as well!

Additionally, if you are dealing with a temporary situation that makes it impossible for you to get good sleep (like finals or starting a family), then give yourself a break for the meantime and get back to your regular routine after. Also, read The Importance of Sleep for Fitness.

The Solution to Maintain Good Sleep and Exercise

Yes, it is okay to exercise even if you feel a bit groggy or to skip the workout to prioritize your sleep if you are really tired. But make sure that you do not make either of the two a habit! Instead, it is time to create a change and make an effective schedule, so you will be able to figure out when you can work out and what times you should be sleeping soundly.

If you do have a crazy schedule, then I recommend that you have shorter and more intense exercise sessions. 30-minute interval workouts are just as effective as longer and slower-paced workouts.

It all takes time management and scheduling! You may want to set your bedtime a bit earlier, so you are able to get up early for your workout, may it be a long or short one. This will totally depend on you. Stay consistent with your schedules while eating healthy and you will be able to reach your goals!

Wrapping It Up

And there you have it! Having good sleep is important; with the help of some famous brands of mattresses, you can have good sleep. But of course, you should not ignore your exercise because of it. There are solutions to ensuring that you get both quality sleep and exercise and it all boils down to good time management and scheduling. Squeezing even just a 20-minute workout for the morning will do wonders for your body!

I hope that this article on choosing to sleep or exercise helped you learn about what you should do to maintain your health. So, do not wait any longer and start creating an effective schedule that works for you today.

Page Reference

If you quote information from this page in your work, then the reference for this page is:

  • RICHARDS. C. (2018) Sleep or Exercise? [WWW] Available from: [Accessed

About the Author

Chris Richards is a writer on topics like fitness, health and nutrition.

Related Pages

The following Sports Coach pages provide additional information on this topic: