Sleep deprived? Skip the gym and take a nap instead.

How much sleep do you get before going to the gym?

More than 7 hours? Less than 7 hours?

If your answer is less than 7 hours, consider this: you might actually be sabotaging your workout.

Commitment and dedication to regularly working out is definitely something to be proud of, but it’s also very important to know when to take a break. After all, you need sufficient amounts of energy to get in a good workout, right? (Maybe not as much energy as this golden retriever, but still.)

So why should you give your body a break? Here are 4 very good reasons why you shouldn’t put exercising over getting adequate amounts of sleep.

  1. You won’t be performing at your best. Think of lacking sleep like being drunk. Without enough rest, your mind doesn’t process things as quickly, slowing down your reaction times significantly! Your body is also much more sensitive to pain when you’re tired, so your workout will feel that much harder, even if you’re not working hard at all. Your time at the gym isn’t going to be very productive! “Some exercise is better than no exercise,” you may argue. Well… no. Keep reading.
  2. You’re more likely to get injured. I mentioned above that your reaction times slow down. So does your ability to make quick judgments and decisions. That’s pretty much a recipe for injury right there. Don’t take the risk! And if that wasn’t enough to convince you to get some sleep…
  3. Your immune system suffers, and you’re more susceptible to illnesses. Just one night of insufficient sleep causes a spike in a hormone called cortisol, and this causes your body to be less effective at battling infections. And if there’s a virus going around? You’re more likely to catch that, too.

  4. Your muscles and tissues can’t repair themselves as quickly. So even if you do feel like you’ve had a good workout and managed to acquire some “gains”… you didn’t acquire as much as you could have. When you sleep, your body produces an essential hormone that stimulates growth in your body.

The takeaway from all of this? Get some sleep. It’ll be much more beneficial to you in the long run.


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