How Many Calories Do You Burn Sleeping? Find the Answers Here

A good night’s sleep is vital to our health. We start our day feeling alive, refreshed, revitalized and energized. However, this is not all the case as the quality and quantity of sleep has strong links with our long-term health, including weight management. Studies have shown that we can lose calories while sleeping.

The question then is how many calories do you burn while sleeping? Important facts to remember are that normal life functions such as breathing, standing and conversing all use up energy and therefore burn calories.

Calorie Count During Sleep

It is not surprising that it's only a small amount that you lose calories while sleeping, as compared to doing physical activities. This is because your body is at resting stage. However, some vital metabolic and physiologic processes are still taking place while sleeping. Being in a sleeping phase still uses energy. Therefore having a good night’s sleep helps in losing weight.

Comparison of calories burned based on different acitivies

Weight (lb)

Sleep

Brisk Walk

Standing

100

40cal

180cal

109cal

150

60cal

271cal

164cal

200

81cal

360cal

218cal

According to researchers, an adult person burns about 0.40 calories, times the weight (lbs.) of the person, and multiplied by the number of hours the person sleeps. For instance, a person weighing 150 pounds and sleeps for 8 hours a day would burn approximately 480 calories a night. This implies that the number of calories you lose sleeping depends largely on your weight and the duration of your sleep.

0.40  x  weight (lb)  x  hours of sleep  = calories burned sleeping

Factors Affecting the Number of Calories Burned While Sleeping

1. The Quality Of Sleep

The quality of sleep is based on two factors, the quantity of sleep and the frequency of movement. Taken literally, this would mean the more you sleep and the less you are awakened, the better your sleep quality. According to experts, a restful and ample sleep of between 7 and 9 hours each night will lead to burning of more calories.

You will burn more calories during deep sleep. The sleep cycle associated with deep sleep is referred to as REM (random eye movement) sleep. The longer you sleep, the more episodes of REM sleep you will experience each night and therefore the more you lose weight.

2. Weight

The Body Mass Index (BMI) offers a way to calculate and quantify the amount of tissue (fat, muscle and bone) and to categorize a person as underweight, normal or overweight. It is derived from your body mass weight and height. BMI has strong influence on the number of calories you will burn sleeping. During sleep, people with greater body muscle mass will lose more calories compared to people with less.

3. Rate Of Metabolism

If you involve yourself in plenty of daytime physical activity, your basal metabolic rate will always be high even at night and this will help you burn more calories during sleep. During sleep, an active individual replenishes what he or she has lost in energy while working out, therefore burns more calories.

The rate of metabolism also depends on the age of an individual. It increases steadily as and individual gets older but starts to decline after the age of 30 years by about 5% per decade.

4. Temperature of the Room

If the temperature of the room is cold, the body needs to release heat to regulate, therefore burning calories while you sleep. Not using a very thick blanket when sleeping would help lose more calories naturally. Turning off the heater can also save you some electricity bills. Just a tip: maintain a cold temperature but comfortable enough not to wake you up at night.

If the temperature in the room is too hot, it's not good as it will be very hard to get sleep. Try to use cooling pillows, thin blankets ​and get the air conditioner in a suitable temperature. 

5. Eating Habits

Large meals taken for dinner can cause indigestion and also reflux. It is best to finish dinner at least 2 hours before sleeping.

You will have problems getting a good quality sleep if you drink too much fluid close to bedtime, because of frequent urination. Drinks containing caffeine, and alcohol may also interfere with your quality of sleep directly.

On the other hand, research carried out by European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (EJCN) in 2016 revealed surprising result on the effects of lack of sleep. It reports that not having enough sleep can make people eat 385cal more on the following day. That is equivalent to a 130g of French fries. This might be due to the feeling of lack of energy and increased craving of food when sleep deprived. It just shows that the lack of sleep can lead to weight gain.

How Can You Sleep Better?

I believe you are well informed and can now explain the number of calories you burn during sleeping. The bottom line is that you will burn more calories only if you sleep better.

How to sleep better infographic

Below are some tips to get a good quality sleep:

  • Keep a regular sleeping and waking schedule time. This helps you to have a body routine on sleep everyday. You can set an alarm to help you, if necessary.
  • Maintain high levels of physical activity during the day.
  • ​Limit certain beverages and drinks that can cause insomnia. For instance, avoid taking excess caffeine, alcohol and nicotine. Lavender or chamomile teas can help relax the body.
  • Avoid large meals at night as they may cause indigestion.
  • ​Limit your exposure to artificial light and maximize your exposure to natural sunlight. So the melatonin hormone in the body ensures you get to sleep when it is nighttime.
  • Ensure you create a calm, safe, comfortable and restful sleeping environment.

Conclusion

It is true you can lose calories while sleeping. Although it is only minimal amount of calorie that gets burn, losing weight while sleeping is one of the easiest to do. Depending on a number of factors such as quality of sleep, metabolism, body temperature and muscle mass, you can increase the amount of calories you burn by getting a good quality sleep.

References:

http://www.healthyweightforum.org/eng/calculators/activity-burned/

http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/060112p48.shtml

http://www.nature.com/ejcn/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ejcn2016201a.html

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/weight-loss/in-depth/metabolism/art-20046508