- Nicole Van Groningen, 37, is an internal medicine physician based in Los Angeles
- In a recent TikTok video, she shared the things she would never do as a doctor
- Van Groningen said she wouldn’t cut her sleep short to exercise in the morning
A doctor has lifted the lid on why she would never wake up early to work out while calling out influencers who tout morning routines that cut into sleep.
‘Do not let any influencers out here convince you that it’s best to cut your sleep duration short so that you can go to the gym and work out and build a better body,’ she said. ‘Sleep is the primary wellness habit. End of story. Period.’
Van Groningen went on to list other things she would never do, including riding a motorcycle or riding a bike without a helmet.
The doctor added that she wouldn’t blame people for their health status or assess someone’s health based on how they look.
‘I would never go in the sun without sunscreen, preferably zinc oxide, not even for five minutes,’ she continued. ‘I admit this is part health reasons and part vanity.’
Van Groningen concluded her video by saying she would never insist on ‘doing things naturally’ or think that ‘nature knows best.’
‘A natural approach can be absolutely wonderful, but you know what happened back in those natural times before the era of vaccines and antibiotics and other aspects of modern medicine? Nature dictated that a lot of people died,’ she noted.
Van Groningen’s video has been viewed 1.4 million times and has received more than 2,000 comments since it was posted on November 4.
Many night owls were fans of her recommendation to sleep in instead of waking up at the crack of dawn to work up a sweat.
‘You’re so real for the sleep advice,’ one person wrote.
‘I will NEVER wake up early to go to the gym now. Doctors orders!!!!!’ another added.
‘Sleep is my favorite so thanks for this endorsement!’ someone else responded.
However, others were confused and wanted to know why they shouldn’t wake up early to exercise before work.
‘You can work out in the morning and still get 8 hours of sleep? Just go to bed earlier,’ one person commented.
Van Groningen addressed the questions in a follow-up video after realizing some people didn’t understand what she meant.
‘When I say that I would not wake up early in order to work out, I’m not talking about a specific time because early is relative,’ she explained.
‘Some people say 3 a.m. is early; other people say 8 a.m. is early. I’m one of the latter people.’
Van Groningen clarified that she simply meant she wouldn’t wake up before she had reached adequate sleep to work out.
‘I would not cut my sleep short in order to exercise,’ she continued.
‘One of the big reasons for that is we know exercise in small chunks, when you add it up, actually has the same effect, whereas sleep doesn’t really follow that pattern.
‘You have to have pretty continuous sleep more or less to have good quality sleep.’
The internist noted it is more likely that you could fit exercise in later in the day than sleep, but she’s not opposed to working out in the morning.
Van Groningen said if you are someone who goes to bed early and gets enough sleep before waking up to exercise, she ‘thinks that’s fantastic.’
‘I personally wouldn’t do that because my energy in the morning is absolutely abysmal, and I need like four coffees before I feel like a human,’ she added.
‘But if it works for you, I love that.’