How Many Calories Do You Burn Sleeping?

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Last updatedLast updated: August 20, 2021
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Are you trying to lose weight? Thinking about what happens to your body during the nightly period of rest can help. You may think your body is turned off during sleep. However, it maintains an active cycle that is important for our bodies. It’s burning off energy as we sleep. This is what helps your metabolism stay healthy and keep you at a healthy weight. Without that, weight loss will be tough. So, getting a good night’s rest is vital to having good health, and having the right pillow to fall asleep on can help, too. So, how many calories do you burn sleeping and how can you make sure it’s enough for weight loss? We will talk about that, how to burn more calories, and what happens when they do.

How many calories do you burn while you sleep?

How Many Calories Do You Burn Sleeping?The number of calories you burn while you are sleeping is not an encompassing number. It will vary from person to person because of determining factors such as starting weight, how much you exercise, and your overall BMI. Approximately, the average person will burn between 38 to 50 calories per hour during sleep. That’s without doing any exercise or going on any diet. Certain caloric burn rates need to happen if you want to lose belly fat. However, that number could be interrupted if you are not eating a balanced diet or exercising weekly.

What factors affect the metabolic rate at night?

The metabolic rate in each person will be different due to lifestyle habits and just overall genetics. You will notice someone who is older in age having a lower metabolic rate versus someone younger. Some other factors include:

  • Whether you are male or female – males have been found to have a higher rate
  • Body proportions such as height and weight
  • Diet
  • How you sleep – choosing a pillow that suits you will aid in a better night’s sleep
  • Race
  • Your genetic make
  • How much you exercise or if you do at all

Some of these are things you cannot change, but there are things that you can. Watching what you eat and making sure you are getting enough sleep every night will change a slow or overactive metabolism.

How to calculate calories burned while you sleep?

How Many Calories Do You Burn Sleeping?You can track the way you sleep, but did you know you can track the number of calories you are burning, too? First, you will need to know your BMR, or basal metabolism, which is the body functions that make your body work properly such as:

  • How you breath
  • How your blood circulates
  • Repairing and maintaining cellular growth
  • The function of your nerves and brain
  • Controlling your body’s temperature

Each one of these needs a large amount of energy for them to work correctly. So, as you sleep, it doesn’t stop. If it did, you would probably not be alive. Basically, the BMR is the number of calories burned by these operations every day and this determines your basal metabolism.

According to Medical News Today, If you want a truly accurate depiction of this, you will need a special monitor to determine how much oxygen you are using. Besides that, a quick way to do this is using what is called the Harris-Benedict equation. To calculate the number of calories, the formula is as follows:

BMR = 665.1 + (4.34 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.68 x age in years) This is for females.

For the males, you can use this formula:

BMR = 66.47 + (6.24 x weight in pounds) + (12.71 x height in inches) – (6.78 x age in years)

If you input this formula correctly, it will give you the calories you will burn every 24 hours with just the BMR. The formula for BMR as you sleep for both men and women is: (BMR / 24) x number of hours asleep x 0.85

Do stages of sleep affect how many calories you burn?

If you want to burn more calories while you sleep, it is possible. When you are in a deeper state of sleep, you get more REM, or rapid eye movement. This makes your caloric burn intensify because of an increased heart rate. The brain activity is greater in REM state, much like when you are awake, and will give you a higher overall calorie burn from your sleep.

The more glucose that is delivered into the blood stream makes your metabolism faster.

Here are some ways to increase your REM:

  • Get better pillows like the WonderSleep that have memory foam and will hold your head better at night. When you are comfortable, you will sleep better.
  • Try making a sleep schedule that gives you a routine of when you go to sleep and wake up.
  • Start exercising at least 20 minutes every day.
  • Don’t drink caffeine before you go to bed.
  • Try to make yourself tired by reading a book instead of staring into the dark.
  • Do not watch TV or engage in your phone right before bed.

Can you burn more calories during sleep?

Tracking your sleep can help you change different things you do during your biggest REM sleep pattern so you can benefit from more caloric burn each night. But how do you track how you are burning calories? There are several devices, such as the FitBit One Wireless Activity Plus Sleep Tracker, that will track not only the calories you burn at night, how well you sleep and for how long, how many steps you take each day and how many calories you burned while doing so. This would be a great way to see how you are doing when you are first starting out a new fitness routine.

Your body needs to go through all the sleep stages. This is the only way to ensure you will burn the most calories possible while you are sleep. Make sure you have the right sleep environment, like having a dark room that doesn’t have any noise and is cool enough for you to not awaken from being too hot. This is important because you don’t want to interrupt the stages of sleep. Otherwise, you will not get the full benefit of a caloric metabolism cycling through your body.

Maintaining and identifying sleep problems and handling them properly is not something that can ignored. Sleep apnea is one that stops you from breathing until you are jolted back into a breathing state and out of REM. Losing weight and getting a proper diagnose from the doctor can help in these lapse periods of no breathing.

Final thoughts

Burning calories is not easy for anyone. To someone who is overweight, it can seem like an unattainable task. However, everyone sleeps and who knew by getting a good night’s rest that you could get a good caloric burn going. How many calories do you burn sleeping? It all depends on you and your habits. Most things you can control such as how well you sleep, how good of an REM you are getting, your diet, whether you exercise or not. Other factors, like your genetics, your height and weight, you cannot. Good thing you will have the right knowledge and equipment to do so.

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