Active Lifestyles: Should you workout on little sleep?

Katy Mueller


(photo courtesy of Tikkho Maciel via


I hate working out when I didn’t get a good amount of rest the night before. In fact, last night, I only slept for about four hours because my kitten kept waking me up and let me tell you, my workout today is going to be a bit rough. Besides how crappy it feels to workout on little to no sleep, is it healthy or even safe to do so? Would it be better to skip the exercise that day and rest?

According to, sleep and exercise coincide and effect each other. Without good rest, your workout can suffer, but without good sleep, your work out will also be less than it could be. However, according to this article, sleep should come first because you must have sleep to function on all levels efficiently, not just in your workout. A workout, while necessary to good health, shouldn’t come before getting adequate sleep every night. says that lack of sleep can actually hinder the results you’re trying to see through your workouts. Their research states that without sleep, your muscles and bones don’t get the chance to repair adequately and thus will limit their ability to show the improvement you are working so hard to see. It also says that without adequate sleep, you probably won’t feel as strong or energized, therefore not allowing you to exercise at your max capacity.

I personally think that maybe it all depends. If you are regularly sleeping pretty well and you happen to get a bad nights sleep one night, I think it would be fine to hit the gym. However, if you are constantly getting bad sleep and trying to workout, something needs to change because without consistent decent sleep, you could actually get really hurt while trying to exercise. Also, sometimes our bodies just need a break. If you really didn’t sleep well one night, you shouldn’t feel ashamed of skipping a day. We have to listen to our bodies and if you really feel like you would suffer trying to push through a sucky workout, then honor that and take a rest day. The gym will be their tomorrow and you will still be able to reach whatever those fitness goals are.

Collegian blogger Katy Mueller can be contacted at or on Twitter @katymueller13