Skip Nav

You Asked: What's More Important — Sleep or Working Out?

You Asked: What's More Important — Sleep or Working Out?

You're asking and I'm answering . . .

Dear Fit,
I'm working hard to lose 20 pounds by eating healthier and exercising four days a week. The problem is, I have a full-time job and am also taking night classes, so the only time I can fit in my workouts is in the early morning. Since I don't slip into bed until midnight, I'm only getting about six hours of sleep a night. So what's more important — sleeping or working out?
—Drowsy Darcy

I'm sure many working women trying to balance their lives and their health are fighting this same battle. To hear my take on this,


Getting enough rest each night and exercising regularly are both important, so you don't want to choose one over the other. Sleep is especially necessary because not getting enough can lead to all sorts of health issues like heart problems, weight gain (which you're working so hard to avoid), and high blood pressure. My advice is to make sure you get at least seven to eight hours of sleep each night, and instead of waking up early to do a long workout four days a week, try shorter workouts every day.

Also, try to find ways to incorporate moving into your schedule. Walk or bike to work, and hit the gym on your lunch break and then eat afterward at your desk. Keep a set of weights in your drawer and take a 10-minute break to do some strength training, or sit on a stationary bike while reading for your class. If you're not hitting the hay until midnight because you're studying, then hit the sheets earlier and plan to devote weekends to study time. If you're still finding it hard to fit it all in, maybe consider giving up one of your classes, or cut back on hours at your job. Aside from not getting enough sleep or being able to exercise, having too much on your plate and stressing about it isn't good for your health either.

I am sure many of you have experienced this time crunch and if you have any advice or encouraging words, please leave them in the comments section below.


Latest Fitness
Looking for the perfect gift this holiday season? Order our POPSUGAR Must Have box now >>