Home Health Sleep and Exercise: How Much Do You Really Need?

Sleep and Exercise: How Much Do You Really Need?


Working out is excellent for your health, but did you know that getting enough sleep is just as important? Skipping out on sleep can undo all of your hard work at the gym. Most people need around eight hours of sleep a night. If you’re not getting enough, you may find that you’re exhausted and have trouble concentrating. You may also be more likely to get sick. Exercise is also vital for your health. It can help you lose weight, improve your mood, and increase your energy levels. 


But if you’re not getting enough sleep, you may not be able to exercise as hard as you should, or you may be more likely to injure yourself. So, how do you make sure you’re getting enough of both?

Getting Enough Sleep

Most people need around 7-8 hours of sleep each night and at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week to stay healthy. To get enough sleep, try to get some devices to help you sleep better and keep your sleep worries away. A noise machine can drown out noises that keep you awake, while a white noise app can play sounds to help you sleep. You can also try using a blackout curtain to block out light or wearing earplugs to muffle the sound. Here are some other tips for getting a good night’s sleep:

  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed.
  • Make your bedroom dark and quiet.
  • Avoid using electronic devices in bed.
  • Get regular exercise.
  • Establish a bedtime routine.

Sleeping Habits

Getting Enough Exercise

The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week to stay healthy. That may seem like a lot, but it breaks down to just 30 minutes five times per week. If you’re not sure where to start, try taking a walk or riding your bike around your neighborhood. You can also try working out at a gym or joining an aerobics class. Just be sure to start slowly and gradually increase the intensity and length of your workouts. Here are a few tips for getting enough exercise:

  • Go for a walk or run outside.
  • Join a fitness class.
  • Work out at home with free online videos.
  • Walk your dog.
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator.

The Relationship Between Sleep and Exercise

Getting enough sleep and exercise is vital for a healthy lifestyle. But what’s the relationship between sleep and exercise? There’s a lot of overlap between the two. For example, lack of sleep can make it harder to stick to a fitness routine, and lack of exercise can lead to poor sleep habits. But both are important in their own right. 

Sleep is essential for cognitive function, metabolism, and overall health. It’s also necessary for repairing muscles and bones after a challenging workout. On the other hand, exercise can help you sleep better by reducing stress and improving your overall physical health. So, how do you make sure you’re getting enough of both?

Regular Exercise

Most people would agree that they get immediate sleep after exhaustion. The AHA recommends 150 minutes a week of exercise and is performed regularly. It is best to spread the 30-minute bouts out over the week instead of doing them all at once. That’s where weekend warriors are in trouble: Trying to make up for lost time on Saturday and Sunday can have the opposite effect. Worse, it can lead to injuries. 

So what counts as moderate exercise? Brisk walking, biking, swimming, and dancing all count. If you’re starting from scratch, aim for at least 10 minutes at a time and work your way up.

The Timing of Exercise Matter

Working out too close to bedtime can harm sleep. That’s because exercise releases hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, which can keep you up at night. However, working out earlier in the day is beneficial for sleep and overall health. 

Remember, exercise also raises your core body temperature. It takes about two hours to return to its average level, so try not to work out too close to bedtime. Despite the biological responses to working out, many people for whom exercise works as a sleep aid.

Sleep More When You Exercise Less

As you get in better shape, you may find you need less sleep. It seems counterintuitive, but you may want to sleep more when you’re starting a new exercise routine. That’s because your body is adjusting to the new schedule, and it needs time to recover. 

Moreover, while exercise is beneficial, it’s not a cure-all. If you’re struggling with sleep, exercise may help, but it’s also essential to address the underlying cause.

Getting enough sleep and exercise is vital for a healthy lifestyle. But it’s not always easy to fit both in. Try to aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise five times per week, and make sure you’re working out at a moderate intensity. And remember, it’s OK to sleep more when you’re starting a new fitness routine.

Felicia Wilson


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