Sleep and Exercise: Too Much of a Good Thing?

Obtaining an adequate amount of sleep and exercise is vital to maintaining both your physical and mental health. Sleep and exercise are also necessary for you to remain alert and productive in your daily life. Most people are encouraged to sleep and exercise more. After all, getting too little sleep or physical activity will eventually have adverse effects. So while you’re encouraged to go to bed earlier and hit the gym more often, you’re probably not being warned that just like indulging in too many french fries or brownies, you can overdo it with both sleep and exercise.

How Much Sleep is Too Much?

Truly, there isn’t a base number that applies to every single individual concerning the amount of sleep a person needs. The amount of sleep that one individual needs to feel well-rested, happy and adjusted isn’t necessarily the same number that another person of the same age and gender needs. At the same time, the average amount of sleep needed by an adult is anywhere between seven and nine hours. Obtaining significantly less sleep than that has been linked to increased risk of diabetes and heart problems, increased likelihood of obesity and decreased concentration. But sleep deprivation is only one end of the spectrum. Studies have found that these same links exist in individuals who sleep significantly more than seven to nine hours.

When it comes to sleep, you really should aim not to overdo it. While sleeping for eleven hours or more on occasion isn’t harmful, you’re best sleeping somewhere between seven and nine hours most nights.

How Much Exercise is Too Much?

It makes sense to think that exercising as much as possible does more good than harm. The more you exercise, the more calories you burn, the more endorphins you release and the more energized and refreshed you feel. However, it’s very easy to become to overzealous with your workout routine. Your body needs rest to avoid injury. Also, remember that strenuous exercise increases your appetite. Constantly exercising can become counterproductive. If you’re increasing your food intake due to constant physical activity, you may want to reevaluate your plan. Rather than work out seven days a week, aim for four to five days. You’re better off exercising at a reasonable rate and concentrating on eating a healthy diet than you are working out all of the time. You’ll put excess strain on your body and will also make maintaining your physique next to impossible. It’s much easier to become burned out when you’re at the gym every day than it is when you keep a manageable schedule, like five days a week with two days off.

Like practically everything in life, sleep and exercise are most beneficial to you when they’re done in moderation. Excess of anything is generally harmful. Strive to find balance with both. Get a good seven to nine hours of sleep nightly and give yourself at least a day or two off from the gym weekly. You’ll look and feel your best.


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