Hormones That Regulate Sleep Cycles
There are various neurotransmitters and hormones released by the brain that send signals to promote sleep or wakefulness. Many of these chemicals are stimulated by light or darkness.
- GABA is a neurotransmitter that decreases nerve cell activity, playing a major role in allowing the body to sleep.
- Adenosine is another neurotransmitter that gradually accumulates in the brain during the day, and at high concentrations makes us sleepy at night. Caffeine in coffee and other beverages can keep us awake as it blocks brain receptors for adenosine.
- Melatonin is a hormone released by the brain when it is dark. It travels to cells to tell the body to sleep. Sunlight or exposure to light inhibits the production of melatonin and increases the release of cortisol, which awakens us. If we are exposed to too much artificial light late at night, less melatonin may be released making it harder to fall asleep.
- Serotonin, the bodyâs âfeel-goodâ chemical, is a neurotransmitter associated with both sleep and being awake. The brain releases this chemical during daylight but also uses it to form melatonin at night.
- Hormones that counteract sleep include norepinephrine, adrenaline, histamine, and cortisol. These are secreted in response to stress and cause the body to be awake and alert. If one experiences prolonged or chronic stress, the body releases adrenocorticotropic hormone , which in turn releases cortisol. Levels of ACTH tend to be higher in people who have insomnia.
Sleeping On The Stomach Prone Position
Prone position, or sleeping on the stomach means lying horizontally on the stomach, with the head on the pillow or the bed. The prone sleeping position is generally considered to be one of the worst, due to its effects on the pressure points in the body.
However, this sleeping position has a lot of benefits as well. For example, it can be useful in the terms of lower back pain, or even if youre dealing with sleep-related obstructive breathing.
But, did you know that sleeping on the stomach can help you fight the belly fat? Experts believe that by sleeping on the stomach, the weight of your body puts additional pressure on the belly area, blocking the abdomen and preventing excess fat accumulation. However, to prevent the prone sleeping position from affecting your health negatively, we recommend the following
- Try not to sleep on the stomach for the whole night. It is enough to spend 2 to 4 hours in the prone position to achieve the slimming effects.
- Try to mix between side sleeping position and prone position. This way you will avoid chest tightness, breathing obstruction, and obstruction of proper blood flow throughout the body.
- While sleeping on the stomach, try to use a properly supportive pillow for the head and neck area. This way youll prevent neck strain and neck pain in the morning.
- If youre not used to sleeping on the stomach, we recommend you try lying on the stomach every night for at least a few minutes, until you feel comfortable in the position.
How Many Calories Do You Burn While Sleeping
The body burns on average about 0.4 calories per hour per pound in body weight during sleep. Therefore, some weighing 150 pounds and sleeps 8 hours at night burns about 400 calories during sleep.
Weight regulation requires more than just eating healthy and getting enough exercise. Genetics, stress and sleep patterns can also impact weight regulation. One other thing you can control besides what you eat and how much you move your body is sleep patterns.
How much sleep you get at night can influence long term weight regulation. Some research suggests if you stay up all night you burn more calories than sleeping, but if you do that long term it can backfire and increase risk for weight gain.
When you are sleep deprived, metabolic rate, appetite regulation and calorie burn can change compared to when youre well rested.
Compared to moving around during the day, calorie burn at night is lower, but it still accounts for some energy.
Most of the energy needed during sleep is for the brain. Your body also takes this time to repair body cells, releases hormones, etc.
Just because your body burns some calories during sleep doesnt mean you should start sleeping in excess.
Sleep is an important component for overall health, but it should be at night not in over abundance or lacking.
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Forward Fold For 5 Minutes
Certain yoga poses help to calm and ease the mind of anxiety and tension. Try sitting upright in bed with the legs stretched out in front, then hinging forward at the hips. Feel a stretch in the backs of the legs , and breathe in for five slow deep breaths and out for five. Feel a melting towards towards the legs and flex the feet. Perform this before bed to help calm down the nervous system and promote better quality sleep.
Difficulty In Memorizing And Forming New Memories
Insufficient sleep negatively impacts the prefrontal cortex of your brain that deals in reasoning. Also, it affects the amygdala that regulates emotions. Sleep deprivation can negatively affect the two regions, causing effects like difficulty in learning .
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It Can Make You Less Stressed
We produce less of the stress hormone cortisol when we’re asleep – particularly between 10pm and 2am, when the body is at its deepest period of rest.
Post-2am, however, our adrenal glands start producing cortisol to prepare for the day ahead.
That means that if you’re awake during those hours, your cortisol level is likely to be sky-high – leaving you feeling stressed and hungry.
You can reduce the likelihood of waking up at that time by sleeping naked and keeping cool.
Eating Late Doesnt Slow Your Metabolism
Eating before bed may cause a temporary increase in your metabolism through whats called thermogenesis. And dont worry about eating after 8 pm. Foods consumed after this time dont magically make your gain more weight its the mindless snacking that does. That said, eating large meals right before bedtime may make it harder to sleep.
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Does Sleep Affect Weight Loss
Believe it, or not, we actually burn calories as we sleep – but of course, we all burn a different amount of calories, just like we do when were awake. Most people burn an average of 50 calories an hour when asleep, but the exact amount is based on our personal basal metabolic rate – and of course the more sleep we get the more calories we burn. So someone who only sleeps an average of 5 hours a night is more likely to burn less calories than someone who regularly gets 8 hours a night. This is why it can be important to learn how to sleep for longer if you generally don’t get much sleep.
And its a lack of sleep that could affect our attempts to lose weight, as Flo Seabright – Nutritionist and founder of FBF Collective told Live Science: “Lack of sleep can impact food choices, whether thats because adhering to a ‘normal’ healthy, balanced diet just feels more difficult when youre sleep deprived or because we opt for foods that we feel will give us more energy, such as sugary or sweet foods.”
Seabright also said that, when it comes to sleep, it really is quality over quantity: “Quality sleep is key in order to allow your body to function optimally and is an important way in which your body can recover and perform key biological processes, such as hormone regulation – including those hormones related to hunger, appetite and satiety.”
How To Find Your Resting Metabolic Rate
Another thing that influences the amount of calories burned during sleep is resting metabolic rate. This is described as the total number of calories burned when your body is completely at rest. RMR supports breathing, circulating blood, organ functions, and basic neurological functions, according to the National Academy of Sports Medicine .
In other words, your resting metabolic rate is how many calories your body burns in a 24-hour cycle as a result of metabolism. This metric shows how many calories a person would burn at rest or during sleep, regardless of exercise. Your resting metabolic rate is proportional to lean muscle mass or lean body mass, and unchangeable factors like age and genetics influence it.
To find your approximate resting metabolic rate, use the Mifflin St. Jeor Equation using weight in kilograms, height in centimeters, and age in years:
- Male: 9.99 x weight in kg + 6.25 × height in cm 4.92 × age + 5
- Female: 9.99 x weight in kg + 6.25 × height in cm 4.92 × age 161
Basal metabolic rate helps determine how many calories an individual burns both during the day and during sleep. However, this metric cant be used alone to determine calorie burn. Elements such as exercise, post-exercise oxygen consumption, and the thermogenic effect of food all play a role in resting metabolic rate.
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Turn Down The Thermostat
Another way to burn more calories during sleep is to turn down the thermostat or sleep in light pajamas. Cooler temperatures will force your body to work a little harder to stay warm.
In a study led by Dr. Francesco Celi of Virginia Commonwealth University, a group of five healthy male subjects slept in rooms of varying temperatures for one month each. Rooms were 75 °F the first month, followed by 66 °F for the next month, and finally 81 °F. During the coldest month, participants saw a 10% increase in metabolic activity.
How Many Calories Do You Burn Sleeping
Carlene Thomas, RDN, LD
Carlene Thomas, RDN, LD is a registered dietitian nutritionist and cookbook author. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics fro…
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If youre trying to find ways to burn more calories, consider your nighttime routine. Studies show mental activity comprises about 20% of your resting metabolic rate, or the calories you burn without physically moving. Your brain continues to do this while you sleep. In fact, your brain is working just as hard during REM sleep as it is while youre awake.
So how many calories do you burn sleeping? As it turns out, there are an array of factors. In this post, we break down everything you need to know to boost the number of calories you burn each night asleep.
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Does Sleeping More Help You Lose Weight
Yes, sleeping more helps you lose weight but theres a limit.
Sleeping too much or too little is detrimental to both health and weight loss.
To fend off an increased risk of weight gain, obesity, heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and psychological distress, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends 7-9 hours of sleep per night for adults ages 18-60 (
If You Think You Have Insomnia
Dr Dimitri Gavriloff, a clinical psychologist who specialises in sleep medicine for app Sleepio, explains that insomnia is classified as struggling to fall asleep or stay a sleep at night, for longer than three days a week and for more than three months, and impacting on your ability to manage during the day.
If you fall into this category, the first-line treatment recommendation is CBTI Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia.The therapy focusses on different behavioural treatments, one of which is stimulus control therapy, which aims to re-establish a healthy association between being in bed and being asleep.
For people with insomnia, the bed often becomes associated with feelings of restlessness and being awake, so this is a means of trying to re-establish a good bed-sleep association.
This treatment comes with five instructions, covering everything from not taking your work to bed, to following a quarter-of-an-hour rule, where you avoid staying in bed if youre not asleep and only go back to bed when your sleepiness has returned.
As part of CBTI, a therapist may also advise sleep restriction therapy, where you reduce the amount of time spent in bed to the hours you are sleeping and then slowly increase it again. And cognitive therapy, which is more about challenging unhelpful thoughts and psychological patterns people have.
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Youre More Likely To Exercise
Losing weight takes a lot of energy, and if you are sleeping too much its going to impact your energy level, and sleeping too little can have effects on your ability to focus and concentrate on all the tasks at hand, Elder says. And though he cant say for sure, Elder believes that one of the main reasons getting enough sleep is linked to successful weight loss is that it provides you with the drive you need to stick to your goals. Other research has shown that people who are sleepy often say they exercise less, opting instead for sedentary activities like watching TV.
Certain Health Conditions May Slow Your Metabolism
Certain medical conditions, like Cushing syndrome and hypothyroidism, may slow your metabolism. This means youll experience less calorie burn at all hours and may even hold onto or gain weight. You doctor can perform simple tests, like a blood test, to rule out certain conditions. Then they can work with you to manage your condition and weight.
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How To Get More Rem Sleep
We all know that a better nights rest is important for body function, mental health, and even weight loss. More REM sleep can lead to burning extra calories while you sleep. Here are a few tips to improve sleep quality:
- Invest in the best mattress for your needs to promote a more comfortable, deeper nights sleep.
- Keep to a schedule so you go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
- Exercise 20-30 minutes a day. But dont exercise within a few hours of going to sleep.
- Avoid caffeine in the evening hours.
- Shut off bright lights and digital glow, and put your phone on silent. Dont watch TV in bed. Reading a print book or magazine is much better than scrolling on your phone, tablet, or another device with stimulating blue lights. In a Harvard study, it took participants an average of 10 minutes longer to fall asleep using an e-book reader versus a print book. This is because the light emitted from your screen causes your body to suppress the hormone melatonin, which is vital to falling asleep.
- If you cant get to sleep, dont just lay in bed awake. Move to the couch and read until youre tired.
It Makes You More Likely To Stick To Your Diet
In 2012, Charles Elder, a researcher at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, recruited 472 obese adults into a weight-loss program that included weekly group meetings and counseling on diet and exercise. Elder and his colleagues measured a variety of factors, including levels of sleep, stress and depression. At the beginning of the study, the people who told us they were sleeping six to eight hours a night ended up doing better in the weight-loss program than those who were sleeping less than six or more than eight hours, says Elder. Stress mattered too. People who had low stress and were sleeping more than six but no more than eight hours a night were about twice as likely to have success in the program as people who had higher baseline stress and who were sleeping too much or too little.
Elders study is not the only one to make the connection. A 2014 study of women ages 25 through 65 who were classified as overweight or obese and participated in a seven-month weight-loss intervention showed that women who had fragmented sleep and woke up five or more times a night lost less weight than the women who had higher-quality sleep.
The data makes us think that we should be paying attention to sleep patterns when we are offering sleep-management programs, says Elder.
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Are There Other Factors That Impact Sleep Burn
Sorry, but running in your dreams wont make you burn more calories while you sleep even if youre a literal boss all night.
If you want to up your BMR, you can take measures to boost your metabolism, like exercising and eating healthfully. Doing so will also cause your body to burn more calories all the time, whether youre cruising through dreamland or jogging through the neighborhood.
Here are a few other factors that can affect your metabolism and impact your sleep burn.
Cooling Down The Room Temperature
Apart from the sleeping position, other things could also help belly fat loss. One such this is ensuring that the room you sleep in has a cooler temperature at night. Cooler temperatures promote the loss of fat because it burns trying to keep you acclimatized to the temperature in the room.
This can help you lose a lot of stomach fat in the long run, and even improve the quality of your sleep. Cooler temperature makes it easier for you to enter deep sleep, during which the body performs all the metabolic functions, which help you burn fat and calories in your sleep.
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