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  • Sleep or Work Out?

    I work full time and attend law school at night. As you can imagine, this leads to a pretty hectic schedule. This semester, I am in class four nights a week, which eats into my workout time. So, I had planned to get up at 5:30 AM so that I can get my workouts in during the week (nothing too punishing - 20-30 minutes of ballet, or lifting heavy things, or yoga). BUT, now I'm second guessing the getting up early. I otherwise would get up at 6:00 AM, so this isn't much earlier than my usual time. However, this means I will generally log 6.5-7.5 hours of sleep a night, because of how late class goes. So, which is more important?

  • #2
    I'd say try it for a week or two and see how it affects work and school, then go from there.
    Josh Vernier, CPT

    My Journal

    Evolution Revolution Fitness

    "The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me."

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    • #3
      No one on this site can make a desicion for themselves. And apparently no one on this site can do research for themselves. Heres an idea; work out. If your tired, dont work out. Holly fuck hey? Howevever, i did read that if oyu get less than 8 hours of sleep a night then your life expectancy is reduced by 20 years....

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      • #4
        Well, if it absolutely comes down to is, sleep is more important. It's a biological imperative. But it's also an individual thing.

        Are you getting enough sleep now? Do you feel tired often? Do you have a hard time waking up? Or do you wake up at 6am feeling fine and ready to go?

        Do your doubts come from being worried about sleep quantity, or is it just because 5:30 seems early?

        Unless you're chronically tired, you can probably do with slightly less sleep. At least in the short term, as a trial. But don't cut your sleep back too aggressively, because it really is important.

        Is there other time you can carve out for training?

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        • #5
          I would take it easy with the strength training at this point in your life. It's natural at times for life to interfere with training. Go light on the training.

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          • #6
            when in doubt sleep it out sounds like it could be added stress to an already heavy load
            "The mountains are calling me, I must go"

            "don't let school get in the way of your education"

            Shameless Everest/Himalaya hiking company plug http://goodkarmatrek.com/

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            • #7
              That is a hectic schedule you have there. I did the night school thing some years ago and its a killer! Four nights is a lot with working all day. Sleep is clearly number one here.

              The good news is that it doesn't take nearly as much training as most think to be in very good shape. So why not do one brief but intense weight training session on the weekend? Done properly, you'll make very good progress with this. Then maybe get some lighter activity in the other weekend day. With this approach you are still getting your training in and you'll have plenty of recovery time during the week.

              This is surely a time in your life where you have to make certain sacrifices to get through all of this. Eat real food, get as much sleep as possible, get one hard but short session in the gym and one lighter session and you'll be fine.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Kingofturtles View Post
                No one on this site can make a desicion for themselves. And apparently no one on this site can do research for themselves. Heres an idea; work out. If your tired, dont work out. Holly fuck hey? Howevever, i did read that if oyu get less than 8 hours of sleep a night then your life expectancy is reduced by 20 years....
                Well, aren't you a ray of sunshine. Here's an idea - if you can't be helpful, don't reply.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by AndyFossett View Post
                  Well, if it absolutely comes down to is, sleep is more important. It's a biological imperative. But it's also an individual thing.

                  Are you getting enough sleep now? Do you feel tired often? Do you have a hard time waking up? Or do you wake up at 6am feeling fine and ready to go?

                  Do your doubts come from being worried about sleep quantity, or is it just because 5:30 seems early?

                  Unless you're chronically tired, you can probably do with slightly less sleep. At least in the short term, as a trial. But don't cut your sleep back too aggressively, because it really is important.

                  Is there other time you can carve out for training?
                  My doubts come from being tired in the mornings. Even when waking at 6am, toward the end of the week, I do feel tired. Early in the week seems to be fine, but by Thursdays, I'm usually feeling tired as is. However, I do usually feel more energized throughout the day, even if I do something light and gentle like yoga, whereas if I don't exercise, it takes me longer to wake up. Given that my butt is stuck in a chair for 11-13 hours a day during the week, I'm trying to do a cost-benefit analysis. When both movement and sleep are important, it's hard choosing which to sacrifice, particularly when you're already struggling with weight you've put on.

                  Originally posted by Forever Young View Post
                  That is a hectic schedule you have there. I did the night school thing some years ago and its a killer! Four nights is a lot with working all day. Sleep is clearly number one here.

                  The good news is that it doesn't take nearly as much training as most think to be in very good shape. So why not do one brief but intense weight training session on the weekend? Done properly, you'll make very good progress with this. Then maybe get some lighter activity in the other weekend day. With this approach you are still getting your training in and you'll have plenty of recovery time during the week.

                  This is surely a time in your life where you have to make certain sacrifices to get through all of this. Eat real food, get as much sleep as possible, get one hard but short session in the gym and one lighter session and you'll be fine.
                  It is a killer! Literally - my first three years were filled with me engaging in all sorts of unhealthy activities, as sort of a coping mechanism for the stress. I'm trying to fix that now, and luckily I will be done in May, so not too far to go.

                  Usually on the weekends, I try to walk a lot because I sit so much during the day. I usually walk 2-4 hours over the course of two days, just to get outside and de-stress. I hadn't thought about lifting on the weekends because of that, but switching to one intense lifting session may be better than what I'm doing now. Thanks for the suggestion!

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                  • #10
                    Sometimes you have to make a choice what's more important. Law school is not easy and you need to have sufficient sleep to think. Eat as paleo as you can. Are you worried about gaining weight if you do not exercise? Do you have a break in between your classes? Is there a gym at your campus available? When I was in school, I had a 1 hr break in between my classes and instead of socializing I went to my gym nearby the school. I was working a full time job and going to university full time and I spent my off days from work writing papers. I did managed to go to the gym 3 x a week and i just watched my diet.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by cayla29s View Post
                      Sometimes you have to make a choice what's more important. Law school is not easy and you need to have sufficient sleep to think. Eat as paleo as you can. Are you worried about gaining weight if you do not exercise? Do you have a break in between your classes? Is there a gym at your campus available? When I was in school, I had a 1 hr break in between my classes and instead of socializing I went to my gym nearby the school. I was working a full time job and going to university full time and I spent my off days from work writing papers. I did managed to go to the gym 3 x a week and i just watched my diet.
                      I'm actually trying to lose the weight I already put on. In college, I ate poorly and drank a ton of alcohol, which added weight, and then in law school, I developed some issues with binging and drinking more frequently (although at least not binge drinking, so I'm fortunate there). I have about 30 lbs. to lose. I'm an evening student, so my classes are at night, with no breaks. I'm there from 6pm-9pm, right after work. I work 8am-5pm. So, if I don't do it before work, it won't happen.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by lexie View Post
                        Well, aren't you a ray of sunshine. Here's an idea - if you can't be helpful, don't reply.
                        I did help. I said workout and if your tired stop. I dont know why you think people on this board can tell you whats right for you body. Just figure it out yourself. Theres no rules. And if you really want to read about how much sleep you need, try using google and research it yourself and get first hand info. No one does their own leg work anymore, they just join forums and ask other people to do the leg work for them. News flash, not everyone here knows what they are talking about. I used to eat up all the info in the nutritian board till I realized they were all idiots. As soon as someone says primal is not low carb, which is basicaly one of the main points of primal, then they lose all respect.

                        Anyway, my point is, figure it out for yourself. Dont assume everyone here has an idea of what they are talking about. Some do. All think they do. 90% do not.

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                        • #13
                          Work out one day a week until the semester is over, get good sleep, and eat strict. If you have extra time, do another workout.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by lexie View Post
                            I work full time and attend law school at night. As you can imagine, this leads to a pretty hectic schedule. This semester, I am in class four nights a week, which eats into my workout time. So, I had planned to get up at 5:30 AM so that I can get my workouts in during the week (nothing too punishing - 20-30 minutes of ballet, or lifting heavy things, or yoga). BUT, now I'm second guessing the getting up early. I otherwise would get up at 6:00 AM, so this isn't much earlier than my usual time. However, this means I will generally log 6.5-7.5 hours of sleep a night, because of how late class goes. So, which is more important?
                            If you go by the effect on life expectancy and general health, sleep is much more important. Exercise is important, but nowhere near as important as sleep.

                            What I suggest is simple: keep a kettlebell in your office. Every hour or so, get up, do 20 seconds worth of exercise, then sit down again and continue your work. You'll get a great workout without taking any time out of your day at all - and you'll reduce your sedentary time, which you won't get from doing 20 minutes of drowsy ballet before work.

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                            • #15
                              You can live longer without eating than you can without sleeping. While I'm guilty at times of doing so, I don't really think it's in your best interests to sacrifice sleep for exercise (which may increase your need for sleep).

                              If you can get adequate sleep and add some fitness work, do it. If you can't, don't stress about it. Not because exercise isn't important but because stress will probably kill you quicker than idleness.
                              The Champagne of Beards

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