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Sleep or Workout? [What’s Best for Weight Loss?]

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You may be wondering: Should you sleep or workout to maximize your weight loss? The answer really depends on how much sleep you’re currently getting. You may want to prioritize sleep over working out if you’re getting below 7 hours of sleep each night!

sleep vs exercise pinterest pin

Joe Dowdell, celebrity trainer, has found getting enough sleep can actually help your weight loss as much a workout!

I would rank sleep and diet as more important than exercise, especially if fat loss (i.e. getting a lean, toned body) is your primary goal. — Joe Dowdell

Where does sleep rank on your priorities?

For me, I know I don’t function as well or feel as good if I get less than 7 hours asleep, but I have been bad about pushing off bedtime lately. I decided to look up to see if dropping down to 6 hours had any effects on my body, and it definitely does. I was shocked to find the answer to whether I should sleep or workout for an hour.

Also, if you’re feeling sleepy after a workout, it could mean you need more shut-eye!

Kim and Kalee in their pajamas

Check out what Shape said about the connection between sleep and your diet.

 A recent study showed that participants who got only four hours of sleep ended up consuming 300 more calories than when they were well rested. — Shape Magazine

300 calories is about the same amount burned during a typical 30 minute workout! Yikes!

The question of sleep or workout for a hour became obvious to me.

I would much rather sleep for the extra hour and choose a shorter workout like Barre Blend21 Day Fix, or T25.

The extra sleep helps my cravings and diet throughout the day too to help me see the best results from my workouts.

kim and kalee sleeping vs working out

How Many Hours of Sleep Do You Really Need?

Study after study suggest 7-8 hours of sleep a night. So if you aren’t getting 7 to 8 hours a night because of a workout, you may want to reevaluate. The goal is to get in a workout in and still sleep at least 7 to 8 hours a night so you can push harder, burn more fat than muscle, and repair your body better.

11 Reasons to Choose Sleep vs a Workout

1. Sleep controls your endocrine system and all of your hunger hormones.

By getting 7 to 8 hours, you give your body the ability to change its composition in the least amount of time.

2. Human Growth hormone (HGH) is released during sleep.

Our body loves natural HGH, and it keeps us looking young. Our bodies produce HGH for us no pills or drops required. The hormone is essential for tissue repair, body fat reduction, and a healthy immune system.

3. By getting enough sleep, your workouts improve too.

You will be able to push yourself harder in your workouts and not suffer the aches and pains because your body can recover at night.

4. Sleep helps reduce cortisol in the body.

Cortisol is the stress-hormone in the body linked to every disease imaginable and fat around the belly.

5. To further the belly discussion, sleep helps regulate your blood sugar levels.

6. You can’t focus without sleep.

Did you know a sleep deprived person functions at the same level as a person that has had a glass of wine? If you can’t drink and drive you shouldn’t be able to skip sleep and do everything on your to-do list.

7. Reduces Cellulite! (Yup, really!)

Just think about how hollow your face can look when you struggle to get sleep, now apply that image to your back side.

8. Sleep deprivation and stress compromise your skin’s barrier function!

Getting enough sleep each night helps us fight wrinkles, free radicals, and dryness.

9. Research shows that not getting enough sleep can increase your risk disease.

Lack of sleep has been linked to heart attack, stroke, weight gain, cancer and even your risk of dying prematurely.

10. Fragmented sleep also has side effects.

The Sleep Journal found that people with higher levels of sleep interruptions or that work in the middle of the night experienced more lonely feelings than those that didn’t

11. Not getting enough sleep can make you more hungry!

Getting enough sleep helps your body’s hormones regulate hunger, and consequently, participants getting enough sleep.

 kim and kalee doing triangle pose

So Should You Sleep or Workout for an Hour?

If you are getting less than 7 hours of sleep, you should get in one more hour of sleep instead of working out.

If you are finding it impossible to get in a workout — maybe try a shorter, full-body workout!

Looking for a shorter workout? Check out our full Beachbody workout comparison or our Beachbody on Demand review.

Your Sleep Plan

Starting on a weekend, pick a regular time to go to bed, and sleep as long as you can each night.

First, you will probably sleep longer than normal because your body is making up for those past nights with little sleep.

After a couple of days though your body will fall into a schedule and that will tell you exactly how much sleep you need.

It’s important to log your hours until you find the perfect amount of sleep for you!

After you know how much sleep you need, you can add 2 hours to your weekend time providing you can sleep later into the morning.

This way you get everything your body needs and can still enjoy your time off.

Do you choose to sleep or workout after only getting a couple hours of beauty rest?

You may also like our morning routine ideas or our hacks to wake up early!

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  1. I definitely need enough sleep to function. I love working out but if I haven’t had enough sleep then I just can’t make it through a workout. Great post!