How to balance sleep and exercise for the best health results

How to balance sleep and exercise for the best health results

23 October 2017

It is more important now than ever to ensure that you have sufficient sleep. By having sufficient sleep it has been linked to better overall athletic performance and overall increased health.

You might be burning the midnight oil to fit in your exercise routine around your busy working life or getting up increasingly early each day – but having a good night’s sleep is just as important a part of your fitness. So how do you balance sleep and exercise?

In fact, a good night’s sleep has been linked to better athletic performance, healthier muscles and hormone levels, while too little sleep has been linked to obesity, heart disease and diabetes. So it’s important to get the balance right.

Build a routine

One piece of advice that comes up time and again is to maintain a regular routine, going to bed and getting up at the same time each day; and in doing so, trying to get as close to eight hours sleep a night as possible.

Be kind to yourself

Cherish yourself, listen to your body and allow yourself time to rest. So ensure you give yourself time to recover between intense work out sessions. That being said, give yourself some time each evening to: 

Wind down

Before you head to bed, turn off your screens and devices for at least half an hour beforehand. Watching a late night news bulletin or a fast paced TV programme can leave your mind whirring, so turn off your TV and listen to some gentle, calming music instead.

Try relaxation exercises

Also, try relaxation and breathing techniques before you head to bed, to help you have a better quality of sleep. Look at the website of the Sleep Council to find a range of techniques to try, some of the breathing techniques you can even employ during the day if you are feeling stressed or unsettled to help you remain calm.       

Your bedroom

Create a perfect sleeping environment to help you make the most of your night’s sleep, think of your bedroom as a sanctuary and make it as calm, comfortable and clutter free as possible. To this end, keep your bedroom free of distractions, so aim for a quiet, dark space, that’s free of screens, and as free of noise or artificial light as possible.

Consider the temperature of your bedroom as an environment that is either too hot or too cold, or has a draught; can adversely affect your sleep, so, ideally, aim for a temperature of 16-18°C. Also, don’t underestimate the importance of a comfortable bed. The Sleep Council advises investing as much as you can in a good supportive bed, as we spend an estimated third of our life asleep. 

Wake up

A little exercise first thing in the morning has long been advocated by health and fitness experts, to wake us up and set us up for the day. So whether you want to go for a morning constitutional or to try some interval training first thing (as recommended by fitness guru expert Jessie Pavelka) – a little exercise in the morning will get your day off to a very positive start.     

Your sleep and exercise

So there you have a few tips on how to balance your exercise and sleep, so that you get the most out of your workouts and recover well from them too, for the best health results.  

To get yourself into a good fitness and sleep routine, sign up for a Prestige boot camp