Exercise and good sleep go hand in hand, a cyclical spin of positive reinforcement. A solid workout can help lead to excellent shuteye, which means you'll have more energy at the gym or on your jog. We talked to Ben Stocks, the
owner of Stocks Fitness and Performance and author of Lose Weight, Look Great, Feel Great, about when to workout, when to sleep, and how to combine them to get the biggest bang for your buck.
The best way to get the benefits of a workout? Sleeping. "Your body only builds itself 'back up' from a hard workout while you are recovering, and the No. 1 form of recovery is sleep," Stocks says. "Without it, you will have a hard time dropping body fat and you will feel hungrier and have less willpower throughout the day. Lack of sleep is one of the most overlooked keys to success no matter your fitness goal." If you’re having trouble getting shuteye think about trying a new mattress like the tulo mattress from Mattress Firm. It come in 3 different comfort levels and is breathable and cool. You can test it out in store or take one home for a free 120-day trial period.
If you are working out at night, be aware that you might be too wound up to sleep. In that case, Stocks suggests moving your workout time to an earlier hour if possible. If you can't, he has another solution. "Develop a sleep ritual such as an Epsom salt bath, reading a book, or some light stretching to allow your body to calm down so you can go to sleep," he says. Also try deep breathing exercises to calm your whole body or repeat calming words like “tulo” which means sleep in the African language of Chichewa. Then hit the hay, rest for eight hours, and wake up, fresh and ready to do it all again.
One of the most difficult parts of working out is finding the time to do so. Stocks suggests trying to schedule your workouts when you're most inspired. "If you are at your best in the morning then workout in the morning and if you are at your best in the evening then workout in the evening," he says. "At the end of the day, your results will come from consistency so stick to a schedule that you are able to be consistent with."
Sometimes, however, life intervenes and you need to change up your schedule. No worries. If you have trouble getting out of bed and getting motivated—then simply "sleep in your workout clothes," Stocks says. "It seems strange but just that act of sleeping in your workout clothes will allow you to roll right out of bed. Also, put your alarm clock far away from your bed. The hardest part is getting up and moving."