9

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If you're tired but haven't worked out that day, is it better to just go to sleep, or work out first?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 14, 2011 at 9:27 AM

Instinct tells me that it's better to just sleep, because that's what really heals your body. I even read somewhere that sleeping will calories (I don't know how factual this is, however). And so I wonder...

If you're tired, but need to workout, should you just sleep?

I'm not being a very good paleo woman, for that matter, since I've been really insomniac lately and haven't been sleeping much. So, in an effort to repair my body, but still lose weight... what do I do?

Probably a dumb question, but I'm curious about what everybody has to say.

When you're tired and sleep-deprived, but feel compelled to work out, what do you do?

Thanks. :)

6ec8d30130a6fb274871314533b5536b

(581)

on September 16, 2011
at 04:27 PM

Oh, I see what you mean. Thanks. Yeah, I think my body was saying sleep... but my mind was saying workout. So conflicting.

Fe535c4994ac6176f76e1ff6d29eb08a

(4286)

on September 15, 2011
at 06:38 PM

Sorry, I meant that in a different way. Not why do you need to work out at all, because you should. More, why do you need to work out today, or right now? You should take days off and let your body recover. If your body is telling you it needs to sleep, maybe its a good time to listen to it.

94a4a87e3d2e1e9160b6ed77678b4bea

(1311)

on September 15, 2011
at 05:55 AM

No problem Winter - a work out should help you with your sleep - both physically and mentally relaxing you.

6ec8d30130a6fb274871314533b5536b

(581)

on September 15, 2011
at 04:47 AM

Thank you so much, this makes a lot of sense. :) I do find that the more I put it off, the more I don't do it. I went all of last week only exercising for one day. And so far, this week, I haven't worked out at all except for random spurts of jump roping, push ups, or crunches for only a couple minutes each. I think I'll try to work out before bed tonight, and see how I feel. :)

6ec8d30130a6fb274871314533b5536b

(581)

on September 15, 2011
at 04:44 AM

Thanks for inquiring. :) I actually need to work out because I'm overweight. I currently weight around 233~235 pounds, and am working to get down to about 130. Sometimes I get anxious if I choose to sleep instead of work out, because I start to think I won't burn enough calories in order to lose the weight.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on September 14, 2011
at 05:33 PM

I'd definitely sleep. Exercise would only add to the stress the body was already struggling with. Since the benefits of exercise involve recovery, I think sleep-deprived recovery would be slower or incomplete.

76c885d7d27e6c83542ea493ca866dcd

(2178)

on September 14, 2011
at 12:14 PM

I like this question!

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10 Answers

best answer

5
89e238284ccb95b439edcff9e123671e

(10299)

on September 14, 2011
at 09:49 AM

If I were you, I would just go for a walk outside, preferably somewhere green, or maybe ride your bike. See what that does.

Sleep deprivation and building strength and condition do not match. You need quality and quantity of recovery!!

But you do need movement and physical activity, thus: walk.

Hope this helps!

best answer

10
94a4a87e3d2e1e9160b6ed77678b4bea

(1311)

on September 14, 2011
at 11:52 AM

I find that sleep-workout-tiredness can become a bad cycle which feeds into itself. What I mean is that if I skip work outs because I feel tired then I just end up feeling even more tired and so on and on it will go. What I would do is if I am really tired from working late or something then I will at least take my dog for a quick 30min walk or I will do a bit of vigorous cleaning around the house just to get my energy flowing again and to remind myself that exercising can make me feel more awake and will make me feel better in the long run. Sometimes if I am feeling lethargic I just do a few star jumps or something short, quick and brisk to get the heart pumping and that sets me up to want to keep using energy.

94a4a87e3d2e1e9160b6ed77678b4bea

(1311)

on September 15, 2011
at 05:55 AM

No problem Winter - a work out should help you with your sleep - both physically and mentally relaxing you.

6ec8d30130a6fb274871314533b5536b

(581)

on September 15, 2011
at 04:47 AM

Thank you so much, this makes a lot of sense. :) I do find that the more I put it off, the more I don't do it. I went all of last week only exercising for one day. And so far, this week, I haven't worked out at all except for random spurts of jump roping, push ups, or crunches for only a couple minutes each. I think I'll try to work out before bed tonight, and see how I feel. :)

2
Fe535c4994ac6176f76e1ff6d29eb08a

on September 14, 2011
at 03:10 PM

I would explore this from a different direction. Why do you NEED to work out? I understand that you should have some level of activity every day. However, are you tired at the end of a completely sedentary day? If so, your body is saying that you need a day of recovery. If you are tired after a day of some activity, I would think your body is telling that's enough for today, lets get some sleep and go hard tomorrow.

Especially if you've been having bouts of insomnia, I think getting sleep in anywhere you can would be ideal.

Fe535c4994ac6176f76e1ff6d29eb08a

(4286)

on September 15, 2011
at 06:38 PM

Sorry, I meant that in a different way. Not why do you need to work out at all, because you should. More, why do you need to work out today, or right now? You should take days off and let your body recover. If your body is telling you it needs to sleep, maybe its a good time to listen to it.

6ec8d30130a6fb274871314533b5536b

(581)

on September 15, 2011
at 04:44 AM

Thanks for inquiring. :) I actually need to work out because I'm overweight. I currently weight around 233~235 pounds, and am working to get down to about 130. Sometimes I get anxious if I choose to sleep instead of work out, because I start to think I won't burn enough calories in order to lose the weight.

6ec8d30130a6fb274871314533b5536b

(581)

on September 16, 2011
at 04:27 PM

Oh, I see what you mean. Thanks. Yeah, I think my body was saying sleep... but my mind was saying workout. So conflicting.

1
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on September 15, 2011
at 01:49 AM

I don't think I have ever worked out and felt worse afterwards. Even if I wss tired, run down, hung over, etc. I have never tried to work out when I was really sick (i.e. flu), but sometimes do when I am stressed or tired. It is always rejuvenating.

If I am a bit off for some reason I might only do 80% of the workout or leave out my optional items, or maybe take a shower and lay around afterwards. But I always try to remember that it makes me feel better, so I have motivation to do it when I may not feel like it.

1
345c1755efe005edd162b770dc6fb821

(8767)

on September 14, 2011
at 12:53 PM

Movement of any kind is good so don't be too hard on yourself, just do something, even if it's just walking in place in front of the tv with arms swinging.

Walk at lunch or walk stairs at work to try and add more movement. Exercise doesn't have to be weight training or full aerobics to be of benefit. Make allowances for yourself to do things that will work for you and relax and enjoy.

1
F1b82cc7e6d90384ad30007dd6c1b9e3

(1187)

on September 14, 2011
at 11:06 AM

i'd walk a little, maybe do a few skips to get the heart rate up, then rest the remainder of the day. if your insomnia is due to anxiety, say the serenity prayer, make sure you're having protein at every meal, add a magnesuium complex to your supplement routine.

0
A7e67ce8d8ff86449913488199b4ac11

on July 30, 2012
at 04:27 PM

Honestly, If you're tired, and haven't been getting enough sleep, I would opt for sleep. The rest you get is honestl going to be just as important as the exercise you do. I have been having sleep troubles as well and I do Crossfit about 5-6 times a week. The lack of sleep led to me struggling in my workouts and left me feeling absolutely exhausted. One day I came home from work and decided to take a day off and sleep instead, and it made a HUGE positive impact for the rest of the week.

0
196aed99467b73924a76d0393c61a719

on July 30, 2012
at 02:54 PM

Just take a 20-30 min powernap and gather some streingth, do your workout and then go to sleep early! It'll be worth it!

0
0e1e1fb7cb5ba898eed1976f988cdc37

on June 11, 2012
at 08:16 PM

I am feeling this way right now. I have a triathlon this weekend and need to do something I feel like but don't want to. I did not sleep long enough last night only 6.5 or so. I was going to nap but that sometimes makes me feel worse. I think I will I for a bike ride and see if it's better. I also had little to no lunch today which is likely part of the issue. I made a poor choice and ate peanut butter, corn chips, and pop when I got home from work. That's what inconsistent meals does to me sometimes. I try to be paleo a lot of the time but we do eat pb and corn chips in moderation. Plan to eat better later today. My point is frequency of meals and high protein always helps me. Try to eat something small and high in protein(egg) and wait 30 minutes or so and then see if you feel better. I use self talk also, I say I have to at least do a little bit and then if I need to stop I can. I never need to stop once I get started. I do agree with others though if you work out multiple days in a row or are weight lifting and feeling sore and tired I would rest.

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 14, 2011
at 10:40 AM

You should workout, if you feel like it. It will wake you up for start.

Sleeping in inadequate times will derange your circadian rhythm and that will impair fat burning . Sleeping after workout will make you loose fat faster because you prolong fat burning effect of exercise (if you didn't eat after workout ofc).

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