There isn't much debate that both sleep and exercise have wide-ranging benefits and impacts on our day-to-day life. But is one more beneficial for your health than the other? Many working Americans are having trouble determining whether to spend more time exercising or sleeping. A study done by the University of Pennsylvania examined data from 48,000 adults who participated in the American Time Use Survey between 2013 and 2016 to try and shed some light on the answer.
The results of the study showed that for most individuals sleep duration decreased as exercise duration increased, which led to the conclusion that exercise and sleep may be somewhat at odds with each other. “Losing minor amounts of sleep due to exercise should be fine, as sleep itself benefits from exercise - shorter time needed to fall asleep, more efficient sleep,” according to lead researcher Mathias Basner, MD, Ph.D., who is also the Associate Professor of Sleep and Chronobiology in Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine. A recommendation from Basner for fitness professionals is to talk with clients about how much sleep they're getting, and the quality of that sleep. From there, recommendations can be made to improve both. He also notes that adults, on average, should get about 7 hours of sleep each night.
Finding the right balance to everything makes a daily routine easier to manage. If you're a morning person, then working out in the morning would probably make the most sense. While others may find it easier to work out in the evening. Just like everything in life, finding the correct amount of time for working out and sleeping is important - too much of a good thing can have negative effects. Balance and moderation is key.