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What is the Relationship Between Sleep and Exercise?

January 11, 2024  ·  7 min read

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It’s that time of year again when folks vow that they will make their health a top priority in the new year through exercise and healthy eating. But before you dust off your running shoes, buy all new exercise clothes, and renew those gym memberships, we need to discuss the relationship between sleep and exercise and how each heavily impacts the other.

All of those people beginning to prioritize living a healthier lifestyle around the new year may be unaware of the crucial role that a good night’s sleep plays in their fitness progress. Sleep and fitness each play a large role in keeping you at the top of your game when it comes to your health and well-being. No matter what your health goals are this year, you cannot meet them without proper sleep.

The mattress experts at Texas Mattress Makers are here to explain the relationship between sleep and exercise.

Why is getting enough sleep important for fitness?

Why is sleep important when working out? To put it simply, without proper sleep your workouts will suffer and your body will have trouble repairing from the workouts you are getting in. Sleep and fitness have to go hand-in-hand for you to achieve and enjoy the gains that you work so hard for. If you don’t prioritize sleep, your exercise efforts might just be for nothing. 

One of the biggest sleep myths to forget in the new year is that getting a full night’s sleep is not that important. If you take anything away from this discussion, let it be this: you cannot function properly on less than 7-9 hours of sleep long-term. Furthermore, you will only reap the benefits of your exercise regime and sleep if you get the recommended amount of shut-eye. Let’s talk about why!

1. Sleep gives you energy

Imagine trying to use a phone with a dead battery — it simply won’t work. To function properly, a phone’s battery needs to be recharged often. In the same sense, sleep acts as your body’s charger. 

When you’re sleeping, your body goes through processes that help repair and rebuild your muscles, especially after a workout. It also helps to replenish your energy, ensuring you wake up refreshed and ready to tackle your next exercise session. 

When you don’t get enough sleep, it can affect your energy levels and performance during workouts, making them feel more challenging. Or, you may be too tired to even do your workout at all! So, making sure you get quality sleep every night isn’t only about feeling well-rested, it’s a vital part of ensuring that you can optimize your fitness performance during each workout to get the results you want. 

Texas Mattress Makers graphic explaining how sleep gives you more strength.

2. Sleep helps your body recover

Do you ever wake up so sore and achy after a workout that you can barely get through your next session? That is usually a result of a lack of sleep. Sleep is the body’s main recovery tool after a workout. While doing a proper cool down post-workout and stretching before sleep can loosen up your muscles and promote healthy blood flow, sleep is the primary process that allows your body to actually repair and rebuild the muscles that broke down during your workout. 

As you sleep, your body uses growth hormones to repair tissues that promote muscle growth. Without sufficient sleep, this repair process gets disrupted, impacting your muscles’ recovery and leaving you feeling less prepared for your next workout. On top of that, you won’t be able to see or feel the results of your hard work! 

So, say goodbye to that debilitating soreness by getting the proper, restorative rest your body needs to recover properly.

Texas Mattress Makers graphic about sleep and recovery.

3. Sleep reduces the risk of injury

Anytime you exercise, you run the risk of sustaining an injury — whether it’s pulling a muscle during a run or dropping a weight on your foot. While sleep can’t necessarily prevent any accidents, it can help strengthen your body to recover more quickly. 

Does sleep heal injuries? Yes, sleep aids in injury recovery! In stage 3 of NREM (Non-Rapid Eye Movement) sleep, our bodies begin the process of repairing the muscle tissue and promoting cell regeneration. This can only be done during deep sleep when your brain is the most dormant. Therefore, without proper sleep, your body won’t be able to send the proper nutrients to your muscles which can result in a slower recovery from your injuries or muscle damage. 

Quality sleep allows your body and mind to recover. When you’re well-rested, your body and mind are better equipped to handle physical challenges, reducing the chances of slips, trips, and other workout-related accidents that can lead to injuries.

Texas Mattress Makers graphic about sleep and injuries.

The effects of exercise on sleep

Just as getting a good night’s sleep benefits your fitness progress, exercising can also help you sleep better. Why does exercise improve sleep? Well, there are a few reasons!

  1. Exercise can help establish a healthy sleep cycle. Your circadian rhythm is your body’s way of telling you when you’re tired and when it’s time to wake up. Having a healthy exercise routine (at least 30 minutes a day) can help keep your circadian rhythm on a healthy schedule so that you’re going to bed at a reasonable hour and waking up refreshed. 
  2. Exercise can eliminate daytime sleepiness. Any kind of exercise, whether it’s a brisk walk, yoga, or intense cardio, raises our body’s core temperature. A raised temperature signals to our body that we need to be awake, just as our bodies do as we wake up. So, if you’re feeling a little tired during the day, a quick workout session may do you better than a cup of coffee.
  3. Exercise can help you fall asleep faster with fewer disturbances. Working out allows your brain to release endorphins, those feel-good hormones that reduce stress and anxiety, making it easier to relax and fall asleep at night. These hormones also reduce stress which can cut out any tossing and turning throughout the night, allowing you to get the deep sleep your body needs. 
  4. Exercise promotes healthy spinal alignment during sleep. Working out makes our muscles stronger and better equipped to maintain proper posture during the day and while we sleep. Therefore, exercising regularly promotes proper spine alignment which in turn helps create healthy mattress body impressions, the key to waking up refreshed and pain-free. However, to truly achieve and maintain proper spinal alignment, you’ll need the right mattress. 

We would like to note that it is important to try and limit any high-intensity exercise close to bedtime as it will raise your heart rate and energy levels which will make it hard for you to fall asleep. Timing your exercise accordingly is important to keep a consistent sleep schedule.

Blonde woman stretching on bed in workout clothes

Get Quality Sleep This Year

Sleep and Fitness Go Hand-in-Hand. Better Sleep Starts at Texas Mattress Makers.

To summarize the relationship between sleep and exercise, sleep allows your body to restore its muscles and energy supply while exercise promotes healthy sleep patterns. When it comes to sleep and fitness, one cannot succeed without the other. If you want to achieve your fitness goals in the new year, you better make sure that you’re getting enough sleep to make that happen. 

That said, sleeping a full 7-9 hours does not always mean that you’re getting quality sleep. Quality sleep can only be achieved by maintaining a healthy, low-stress lifestyle and sleeping on the right mattress. We can help with that last part!

Visit any of our mattress stores in Katy, Downtown Houston, The Woodlands, Rosenberg, Humble, or Baybrook, TX to find the right mattress for your body and sleep needs. Only then will you get the quality sleep that your body needs and you can see and feel the benefits of your hard work! If you’re ready to make this year the year of better sleep, shop for your new mattress with Texas Mattress Makers.

More Helpful Articles by Texas Mattress Makers:

Sleep Health

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