Scientists have known for a while that working out and sleeping on time have a symbiotic relationship, but that link is proving to be deeper and more imperative than expected.

The primary functions of sleep are to store energy and to repair bodily tissues. The more time you spend working out, the more shuteye your body will need to completely rejuvenate. When we work out, our body goes through spells of hard work, without resting and relaxing. However, that is the final paradox, in absence of sleep all that intense effort can quickly go to waste.

Your daily workout and sleep are closely related, and this complex relationship is a two-way street. Yet the fact is definitely more nuanced than it might seem. Sure, sleep helps you in performing better in the gym, and physical activity not only helps you fall asleep faster, but also allows you to enjoy quality sleep in general. However, exercise does not just make you feel exhausted; it actually helps create physiological change in the body. It can work to strengthen your circadian rhythms by making our mind more alert during the day and inducing sleep during the night. A study conducted by the National Sleep Foundation concluded that individuals who performed exercises on a regular basis were way more likely to report sleeping tight on most nights as compared to those who were physically inactive.

Getting the right amount of sleep to help your training can also depend on other extenuating features such as your eating habits, your pre-bedtime routine, the electronic devices you use and even the kind of mattress you sleep on.

When your body is well-rested, your muscle function and energy stores are replenished. Snoozing well the night after you work out makes your tissues and muscles stronger as well as adds more resistance to injury and fatigue. In order to gain the full power of the sweat-sleep relation, make sure to follow this 3-point plan.

  1. Eat a Protein-Rich Bedtime Snack: People who had a protein shake prior to hitting the bed experienced a higher increase in muscle strength as compared to those who didn’t.
  2. Step Up Your Game: It takes only 20 to 30 minutes of light-intensity exercise for a few days to enhance your sleep quality but doing more than that can actually prove to be better. Increasing the amount of time that you exercise or the intensity of your routine will translate into an even deeper sleep, since your body will need more time to repair and regenerate.
  3. Hit the Bed A Little Earlier: When you get more quality sleep, your motivation to workout out increases further. If you are tired, your brain may trick you into thinking that you need to save your exhausted energy reserves, thus making it difficult for you to workout. All you have to do in order to regain your motivation is to hit the bed a little earlier – not so early. Just half an hour should be sufficient to spike up your drive the following day.

Following this plan will help you sleep better.