The Relationship Between Fitness and Sleep

As most fitness enthusiasts no it’s not just what happens in the gym but what you do before and after. The three things to consider in maximizing health in fitness is diet, the actual workout and your recovery. Sleep is essential to recovery not only for fitness but our everyday lifestyle. In this article we will discuss the relationship of maintaining an active lifestyle and your recovery through sleep.


Almost a third of every American sleeps less than 8 hours on average daily. Over the consistency of having lack of sleep our bodies enter a survival mode, slowing down metabolism as well as having heart and lung issues. When we are lacking sleep our performance drops, our mood and sex drive will drop and if you are thinking that your body will burn more calories you are wrong. Essentially when you don’t get adequate sleep your body literally shuts down and tells the brain that we are running on limited resources and to minimize export.

So what does sleep do to the body?

Sleep is the unique mystery of the daily necessity our bodies need to experience to live. While sleeping our bodies produce hormones to recover, grow for children growing up and in the fitness world sleep is essential for athletic recovery. Most athletes that aren’t getting enough sleep are killing their gains. It’s almost more productive to not workout or lift any weights and have adequate sleep than to lift all day long and not sleep. Realistically, though, they work together. You need sleep to recharge the body’s batteries and you need energy to expense for your fitness desires.


Regular exercise can absolutely help you sleep. It’s been proven and is a healthy practice when you are tired, sleep. There are many factors that affect sleep consistency and overall sleep performance such as diet, light exposure, habits and routines, etc. One thing that happens with exercise, however, is to produce a chemical effect on the brain to actually make us feel sleepy. This chemical is called adenosine, which is the component that makes us feel sleepy.


Working out also helps develop habits for the brain, to communicate a certain rhythm in life. Your body has an internal clock called the circadian rhythm, which helps your body understand the schedule it’s on. Working out in the morning primes the body to be ready for sleep later in the day, which is why working out in the morning is preferred. There isn’t any actual evidence that working out late versus in the morning has any pros and cons but the main importance is to find a rhythm or routine in life that you can follow to help your body adjust accordingly.