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Sleep Vs Exercise: Deciding Which is Better

Sleep Vs Exercise: Deciding Which is Better. sleeping lady

Our daily lives are a rollercoaster of balancing all kinds of aspects of our lives. Sometimes going through your day-to-day routine means having to sacrifice something in the process. For most of us, work takes a bigger priority leading us to take time out for it by neglecting our rest, our leisure, or any other activities. So, when it comes to choosing between sleep and exercise, it can be an incredibly difficult decision. Both seem important and having to skip either one can have some adverse effects on our health and on our life. The question remains, which is better? Sleep or exercise? Let’s find out.

Choosing Sleep Over Exercise

Sleep is admittedly an important part of our lives. It’s the time we need to recuperate our minds and our bodies after a long exhausting day. It helps us recover and regain our energy, so we can be better equipped for the next day. In fact, it’s so important that doctors and health professionals will often recommend a minimum of 8 hours of sleep for a normal person or richest-people. Neglecting our daily requirement of sleep can lead to a host of different physical and mental issues in the long run. Let’s take a look at what the pros and cons of choosing sleep over exercise are.

Sleep Vs Exercise: Deciding Which is Better. Woman sleeping at home


  • Getting enough sleep can help you feel well rested.
  • You will feel refreshed with a better mood and overall outlook on life.
  • You will have a lesser chance of developing physical and mental issues.
  • It can help you recover from physical and mental exhaustion making you feel less stressed.
  • You can reduce the risk of developing heart disease, breathing problems, inflammation, obesity, as well as help you heal your wounds faster.


  • Fulfilling your sleeping needs will leave less time in your life for other things like working on your physical fitness.
  • Too much sleep can lead to headaches and will also put you at risk of cardiovascular diseases.
  • Getting in the habit of taking more sleep than you need can lead to lethargy and memory problems.

Choosing Exercise Over Sleep

On the flip side of things, we have exercise. Exercise is an equally important part of our lives that can lead to wonderful things for our wellbeing. Putting in a decent amount time for your physical fitness is essential for just about every person. Any health professional will tell you that a minimum of 30 minutes of physical exercise is a requirement for the average person. This can go a long way in terms of helping us feel better and can be responsible for a major part of our lives. Not getting enough physical activity will go towards developing a series of conditions and put as at high risk for serious and life-threatening conditions.  Here are the pros and cons of choosing exercise.

Sleep Vs Exercise: Deciding Which is Better. fitness at home


  • It can help you maintain a desirable physical form and fitness.
  • You will generally feel much better being physically fit.
  • It can help elevate your mental state and help with issues like anxiety and depression.
  • It can help you lose weight and strengthen your body.
  • You reduce the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, breathing problems, cancer, diabetes, and many others.


  • Taking out time for your workout means you’ll be sacrificing your sleep.
  • It can be difficult to go to the gym when you’re already tired from your day.
  • Having the right workout equipment and facilities is not always easily accessible to everyone.
  • Exhausting yourself with exercise after already being overworked can lead to increase in stress levels and decrease your mental health.

Choosing a Compromise

As you can see, both sleep and exercise have their equal importance. Trying to pick one over the other is not a simple binary decision. You must consider all kinds of facts when dealing with situations like these. There are definite benefits to getting enough sleep and exercise and there are definite adverse effects of neglecting sleep and exercise. The idea here isn’t to simply favour one thing completely and disregard the other altogether.

Sleep Vs Exercise: Deciding Which is Better. young woman exercising

Instead, you should focus on trying to reach a healthy compromise between. Why should you have to choose between sleep and exercise when you can have both? It’s not an easy thing to achieve but it’s definitely possible and it’s definitely worthwhile. And at the end, it can lead you to have a healthy functioning life.

Read more about the benefits of sleep and exercise in the articles linked below.

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