One of my favorite things about being connected with the online world is that we, (I) have the ability to connect with just about anyone, just the other day I reached out to sleep expert, Dr. Christopher Winter, MD, D-ABSM, D-ABIM (sleep), D-ABPN (neurology), F-AASM about a very specific question that comes up with a lot of my clients. 

If I'm already tired every day how will working out improve my sleep?  

I'm going to have Dr. Chris enter and take on the question, here we go:

I like this question for many reasons. The first is that it uses the word tired. Tired is a fantastically imprecise word that gets used frequently within the world of 'sleep'. Tired, fatigued, sleepy, exhausted and similar words mean very different things to different people. I work hard to have my patients and clients define exactly what they mean by these words, because it will help shape appropriate responses.  {{ I DO THE SAME THING WITH MY CLIENTS - I'm on the same page as him, yeah! }}

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Tired can mean an individual who has very low body energy, if so then I would suggest using the word fatigued if that is the case. Fatigue can be an appropriate physiological response. An individual who rolls out of bed and tackles a Spartan Race might appropriately feel fatigue as they leap over the strip of fire en route the finish and a free banana. One's body should feel some degree of fatigue after an ordeal like that!  {{ Who wouldn't!? }}

It would be unusual for that same individual to nod off as they are being handed their "Finisher" medal. That would indicate sleepiness which is often described as being tired by some people. Sleepiness is a heightened drive or urge to sleep. Staying up all night binge watching Game of Thrones might do that, but typically exercise does not. Sleepiness indicates an individual who needs more sleep (and more self-control over their Netflix account) or it can indicate an individual who is sleeping more that enough, but has something wrong with their sleep. Sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome and narcolepsy can all fit that bill.

So, if you are tired (FATIGUED) everyday, you are going to need to understand why you are dragging. Have you had your B12, thyroid, Vitamin D, iron, and testosterone (if you are a guy) {{estrogen and progesterone if you are woman }} checked? Are you eating properly? Are you exercising too much? Had any tick bites lately? If you have checked all of this out and it's all normal, that's just the beginning of a long list of items that can create fatigue in an individual. Find someone who can help you pinpoint your reason for fatigue.  {{ Ths is where I might step in... insert big cheesy smile }}

If you are tired (SLEEPY) every day, the first question you must answer is, "Am I getting enough sleep?" Just as inadequate water will make you thirsty, so too will inadequate sleep make you sleepy. If you are sleeping enough, you need to find out why your sleep is not doing the job of making you not sleepy. Is your room comfortable? Have you eliminated alcohol from your evening routine? Are you keeping a regular sleep schedule? If the answer to any of these questions is no, you have some changes to make!  

So finally, is regular exercise a part of your morning routine? Exercise, particularly in the morning can not only provide a huge boost of energy during your day, but it also can establish a strong anchor point for your brain's circadian rhythm that can help with sleep. The adenosine exercise produces can help to enrich and deepen your sleep at night. So tomorrow morning when it's time to decide between the snooze button or the treadmill (assuming you got enough sleep), battle to make the right choice. Find a friend who will meet you at the gym. Buy an alarm that shocks you if you need it to wake up! I've never met someone who regretted the decision to workout later in the day.

I love everything that Dr. Chris shares, and agree, if you want to start sleeping more soundly, perhaps start your day off with a quick hitt workout or 20 minute break a sweat walk, it never hurts to move your body!  

Dr. Chris has written an amazing book on SLEEP, my favorite topic, get your preordered copy now and catch some more ZZZZZZ's tonight! 

The Sleep Solution: Why Your Sleep Is Broken and How To Fix It