Sleep vs. Exercise- What’s more important?

Sleep and exercise are both essential in achieving good health. They have their unique benefits and share many positive traits as well. But what if you would need to pick one over the other?

If I feel extra sleepy on a given day, is it better to hit the snooze button or get up and workout to boost energy?


The Triangle of Health

Nutrition, Sleep, and Exercise form the Triangle of Health. Each of them contributes to our overall well being and dictates our health condition.

Apparently, sleep and exercise are both essential in maintaining good health, but to answer the question “What’s more important”, we should first discuss the main benefits of each and how they relate to one another.


  • Sleep – Sleep is an important factor in our overall physical and emotional health, helping our brain work properly, preventing chronic diseases, improving mental well being, and boosting our immune system. But basically, sleeping gives way for our bodies to heal itself and to replenish energy lost during daytime.


Lack of sleep can make us feel restless and fatigued, and this may prevent us from performing at our best, including during exercise. Lack of sleep can make working out ineffective, less productive, and much more laborious.


  • Exercise – Like sleep, exercise also helps prevent chronic diseases, and improve our physical and mental well being. Exercise also reduces our risks of getting type 2 diabetes, stroke, and some cancers. It also improves our mood, self-esteem and even our sex lives.


But one of the most common benefits of physical exercise is promoting better sleep. Lack of physical activities may cause difficulty of sleeping, while regular exercise can help us develop a good sleeping pattern, helping us fall asleep faster and deepen our sleep.


Making Both Ends Meet


Sleep and Exercise goes hand-in-hand.

It’s hard to get the other without the other, since good quality of sleep is required for good quality of exercise, and good quality of exercise is needed for good quality of sleep. But the question still remains, what’s more important, sleep or exercise?

To answer the question on its own, sleep is more important. While it is also essential that we exercise, almost, if not all, research suggests we get at least 7 hours of sleep every night. Sleep is more important but should not be picked over the other as much as possible.

It’s okay to sacrifice around half hour of sleep few times a week to make way for exercise if you’re regularly getting adequate sleep. Another situation where this question would arise is when you wake up still feeling tired and sleepy, or and not feeling good enough to work out. If that’s the case, it would be better to sleep it in and make up for the lost exercise time in the afternoon.

Working out when your body is not well rested may not be as effective, and getting up early might not be worth the rewards.


Balance is the Key

Balancing your time during the day with strategic prioritizing of tasks, eliminating time-wasters and being more focused is the key in achieving a healthy lifestyle with adequate sleep and exercise. Why not choose one when you can have both, and reap the benefits of both?
So get off your TV or internet, sleep earlier, wake up earlier, exercise, and eat healthy meals. When all things are said and done, everything related to health are more important and should be given the most priority. Contact us today to achieve the balance you need!running

January 22, 2016 • Blog