First published on May 1st, 2022.
Updated on December 7, 2023.
4 minutes average read.
When we think of burning calories, we often picture vigorous workouts, intense physical activities, or engaging in sports. However, what if we told you that even while you sleep, your body is still hard at work, burning calories? It’s true! Sleeping is not just a time of rest and rejuvenation for your body and mind, but it also contributes to your overall calorie expenditure. Let’s delve into the fascinating world of sleep and uncover just how many calories you burn during this essential activity.
To understand the calorie burn during sleep, we must first explore the concept of basal metabolic rate (BMR). Basal metabolic rate refers to the number of calories your body needs to perform its basic functions while at rest. These functions include breathing, circulating blood, regulating body temperature, and maintaining organ function. Your BMR accounts for the majority of calories you burn in a day, and yes, this includes the calories burned while sleeping.
On average, an adult’s BMR accounts for approximately 60-75% of their total daily energy expenditure. The exact number of calories burned during sleep varies depending on factors such as age, sex, body composition, and individual metabolic rate. However, studies suggest that an individual can burn between 40 to 110 calories per hour during sleep. Over the course of a full night’s sleep (around 7-8 hours), this can add up to approximately 280-880 calories burned during the sleeping period alone.
It is important to note that while these numbers might not seem substantial compared to the calorie burn during exercise, sleep plays a crucial role in supporting overall health and weight management. A good night’s sleep promotes hormonal balance, enhances metabolism, and supports healthy appetite regulation. Sleep deprivation, on the other hand, can disrupt these processes, leading to imbalances in appetite-controlling hormones, increased cravings for high-calorie foods, and a higher risk of weight gain.
Furthermore, the quality of sleep also impacts the calorie burn. During the various stages of sleep, your body undergoes vital processes such as tissue repair, muscle growth, and hormone regulation. The deeper and more restorative your sleep, the more efficient these processes become. Adequate sleep can optimise your body’s ability to burn calories efficiently and maintain a healthy weight.
It’s important to remember that the calorie burn during sleep is just one aspect of overall energy balance. To achieve weight loss or weight maintenance goals, it is necessary to consider a balanced approach that includes a healthy diet, regular physical activity, and sufficient sleep.
To optimise your sleep quality and maximise the potential calorie burn, here are a few tips:
So, the next time you crawl into bed for a good night’s sleep, remember that your body is not just recharging, but also working to burn calories. Prioritising sleep as an essential part of your overall well-being can yield significant benefits, including a healthier metabolism, improved weight management, and enhanced overall health.