SLEEP VS. EXERCISE: IT’S TIME TO END THE BATTLE
Fall semester is officially HERE + [hopefully] you’ve gotten into your own routine//schedule. Your classes are in full swing + your student org meetings are picking up. All of your friends are back in the same city. Life is good + BUSY. How are you feelin’? If you’re a little exhausted or overwhelmed, you’re not alone — just about every college student is right there with you.
For most of us, there are two ways to deal with the stressors of everyday life: sleeping + working out. There are benefits to catching more z’s, + there are just as many benefits [if not more ; )] to a good sweat sesh. There will be plenty of days where you would much rather sleep for an extra hour instead of go to the gym. There will also be days where you want to sacrifice some sleep for a late-night workout.
Sleep + exercise are both absolutely necessary in maintaining the healthiest + happiest you — the challenge lies in how much time to dedicate to each! So which one do you choose?
You don’t possibly have time for both, right?
THIS IS NOT TRUE. Your schedule will never be more flexible than it is right now in college. Time management + prioritizing are your keys to success. An important thing to keep in mind through all of this is that everyone is different. What works for you might not necessarily work for someone else! You might be a night owl or be able to function properly on a little less sleep, so you’re perfectly fine with squeezing in a late-night sweat sesh. On the other hand, your friend might not be able to stay up past 10pm, so she may go to bed early + wake up for a 6am run. There is always a tradeoff between sleep + exercise! Know yourself + know what your mind//body can handle.
Ending the battle between sleep + exercise isn’t easy, but here are some tips to make it work…
#1] Try working out in the middle of the day if you’re feeling sluggish — it’ll give you a quick energy boost to tackle the rest of your day! When you have more energy, you’ll be able to finish your *to-do list* + you’ll get to bed on time.
#2] Your workouts don’t have to be long in order to be effective. A quick 25-30 minute workout [like the FULL BODY TONE + the BOOTY BLAST : )] takes up so little of your day, leaving SO MUCH time for you to both be productive throughout your day + get some sleep.
#3] Exercising regularly helps you sleep more soundly at night. If you can create a habit of making time for a workout in the AM before class, then you won’t have to choose between sleep + exercise. The good night’s sleep will come naturally : )
#4] Consistent exercise does help you sleep better at night… most of the time. Be mindful of working out *too late* at night — exercising gives you an energy boost which can interfere with catching those Zzz’s. It’s best to get your sweat on a couple hours before you plan on going to bed, so that your energy buzz has time to wear off.
#5] Cut out *unnecessary habits* like being on your phone right before you go to sleep or binge-watching Netflix. Is another episode of your show really that important? NO. ++ staring at a bright screen late a night can affect your body’s natural sleep-wake clock — making it tough to fall asleep + more difficult to get up in the morning!
#6] Get on a consistent sleep schedule by waking up at the same time every day — yes, even on the weekends. Your body will thank you for giving it a comfortable routine + your life will feel much more consistent + balanced.
#7] Be realistic with yourself. If you know you are someone who needs a few more hours of sleep + you’re not an early riser — don’t try + force yourself to be at the gym by 6 am everyday. You are most likely to stick to the sleep + workout routine that works for you + that you LOVE doing!
#8] Sacrificing too much sleep for the sake of exercising is NOT healthy. Your body needs that time to repair + rest, so don’t push yourself too hard!
So while you’re kicking off this new semester + adjusting to the craziness of your busy schedule, remember that with the help of good planning + prioritizing, you can have the best of both worlds!
+ Christina [@christi_inchaarg] // OSU CHAARG