Fitness, Sleep

The Connection Between Sleep and Exercise

We have all been told repeatedly about the benefits of quality sleep. It is a necessary part of life in order to keep the body functioning properly. A night of quality sleep can make any of us feel able to conquer the world so it’s probably safe to assume that the benefits of quality sleep are widely understood.  While exercise and sleep are related, and positively impact each other, this relationship is still being studied to better understand it.Sleep and Exercise.png

Several studies have shown that a good workout can help increase your sleep duration and reduce wake-ups during the night. (Source

  • Numerous studies have indicated that exercise may be the greatest indicator in obtaining quality sleep.
  • During sleep, your body’s tissues regenerate and repair themselves. This process is important to enable you to perform at your peak.
  • Several recent studies have shown that moderate levels of exercise can alleviate insomnia in adults.

Just exercising alone won’t lead you to the promised land of a great night of sleep.

  • Sleep experts recommend that you exercise at least 2-3 hours BEFORE bedtime. That means that if you have a 10:00 PM bedtime, you should be done exercising no later than 8:00 PM, preferably closer to 7:00 PM. (Source)
  • Establish a routine for working out and sleep. For example, maintain a consistent sleep schedule for both going to sleep and waking up. The quality of both exercise and sleep will benefit in the long run.

Morning vs. Evening Workout Routines

  • Anecdotally, morning workouts are a great way to start the day. You get your workout completed before the chaos of the day begins. But for many ,working out before work can be a challenge logistically.
  • Evening workouts can suffer from unexpected events during the day – staying late at work, needing to run errands after work, etc. And let’s be honest, don’t underestimate the power of the couch once you get home! If you plan to workout in the evening, I highly recommend you bring your gym bag with you and head there on your way home from work.
  • Exercising in the morning may help you sleep better, according to this study.
  • Exercise boosts your energy levels, which can be advantageous for both workout times. In the morning, it will give you a little extra pep in your step for the workday; and in the evening, it may help you power through a few chores and dinner preparation.
  • You’ll need to spend longer warming up in the morning since your body is freshly awake.

When it comes to determining the best time of day to workout, one thing is abundantly clear – pick a time that works best for you! Ideally you’ll want to follow some of the guidelines above to ensure that your workout is safe and effective, and contributes to a good night of sleep.

Be well,

1 thought on “The Connection Between Sleep and Exercise”

  1. Just started a new routine to add some cross training into my running life. Classes at the Y 4 mornings a week at 5:30am. Just started a week ago. Have to get up at 4:45 so I’m being strict about the 9-9:30 bed time.


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