What Happens To Our Bodies When Were Sleeping
Did you know that humans spend about one-third of their lives asleep? Yet many people dont realize what really goes on when theyre asleep. Besides the fact that you are resting and recovering from the day, what goes on with your body while youre sleeping is truly remarkable. This is your bodys strengthening and repairing process, and its a process that sends your immune system into overdrive.
Even while we sleep, energy is expended to maintain the function of vital organs such as the heart, brain, lungs, kidneys, liver and the nervous system, said Claire Murray, a PGDip Nutrition Science and Gut Health Specialist at Vitaminology. Our body uses energy during sleep to repair organs, muscles and tissues, and clear the brain of toxins.
Calories Burned Sleeping Calculator
If you are tracking your food and your calories then you would want to track the number of calories burned in while you sleep as well.
The process of calculation depends on the weight and the amount of sleep you get. For every pound, a person burns about 0.42 calories in an hour. To find out the total, you need to multiply your weight in pounds with 0.42 and you will get the result for one hour. Multiply the answer with the number of hours that you have spent sleeping. The result is the number of calories that you have managed to burn during one cycle of sleep.
Calories burned while sleeping = 0.42 x Weight in pounds x no. of hours you sleep
Keep in mind that these calculations are very tentative and may vary from person to person as well.
Sleep In A Cool Bedroom
Keeping your bedroom cool is one of the most comfortable, relaxing, sleep-promoting choices you can make for your nightly sleep environment. A cool bedroom can help you sleep better, able to fall asleep faster and wake less often throughout the night. A cool nighttime environment also encourages your body to burn more calories. And, as studies show, a colder bedroom stimulates the production of beige and brown fats, which burn energy , and help to protect metabolic health.
Whats behind the connection between a cool bedroom, sound sleep, and weight loss? Staying cool at night stimulates your metabolism. Essentially, you need to burn more calories to keep warm.
As Ive talked about before, a cool environment is naturally more conducive for sleep. By cool, Im talking about a bedroom temperature of between 62-68 degrees Fahrenheit, with the optimal temperature being right in the middle, at about 65 degrees. In the evenings as we move closer to sleep, our bodies undergo a natural, gradual drop in temperature. Sleeping in a cool room can enhance that natural body temperature decline that is part of our transition to sleep. The fall in body temperature that happens in this transition to sleep occurs alongside the rise in melatonin thats both essential for sleep and helpful to weight control.
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When Its Time To Sleep Turn Off All Electronic Devices
Electronic devices like phones and laptops are associated with stress, tension, and distraction. When that work phone call comes in, or you receive that email, youre behind on your months bills. This kind of distraction will only make it harder to sleep.
Also, these devices emit blue light that may deceive the brain into thinking its daytime . It will thus become harder to wind down in such a setting.
Get Light Exposure Early In The Day
Evening light exposure interferes with melatonin productionand that can make it easier for our bodies put on weight. But light exposure isnt all bad for sleep and weight. Far from it. Early in the day exposure to light helps to strengthen our daily, 24-hour circadian rhythms, in part by reinforcing the natural decline of melatonin that happens to us every morning. When melatonin levels drop, you become more alert and ready to be active. That sends you into your day more energizedand apt to burn more calories throughout the day.
Morning light also sends powerful cues to your brain that help keep your daily bio rhythms in sync. These circadian bio rhythms exert a great deal of control over sleep-wake patterns. Your next nights sleep may be the last thing on your mind when youre just getting your day underway. But by shoring up circadian rhythms, this early-day light exposure can have a direct effect on how well you sleep at nightand sleeping well makes it easier to lose weight and maintain a healthy weight. Whats more, our bio rhythms do a lot more than control our sleepthey influence nearly every part of our daily physiology, from metabolism and digestion to hormone productionincluding hormones that regulate hunger and fullness.
I just recently gave a TED Talk on the timing of our hormones, and the best hormonal times to do just about everything, including eat and sleep. Please check it out!
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Can You Track Calories Burned In Your Sleep
Sleep tracking is popular these days, and you may be wondering if you can track the calories you burn in your sleep. The answer here is no, as they are not active calories, which are the kind a tracker like the Apple Watch can monitor.
What the Apple Watch can do is monitor certain aspects of your sleep to determine its quality if you wear it while asleep. If you are not an Apple fan, most other smartwatches can do a similar thing.
If you dont want to wear a smartwatch to bed, but do want to monitor your sleep, a sleep ring like the Go2Sleep Tracker or the are alternatives that can offer even more data to help you determine the quality of your sleep. You can even track your sleep without wearing a gadget at all, by making use of an under mattress sleep tracker like the Withings Sleep tracking mat.
Sleep Affects Weight In More Ways Than Just Nighttime Calorie Burn
While you are burning calories during sleep, there are other important ways that sleep affects what you weigh. When it comes to keeping the pounds in check, both the quality and quantity of your sleep are important.
A constant lack of Zs wreaks havoc on your hunger hormones, upping the amount of the appetite-stimulating ghrelin and decreasing the appetite-suppressing leptin in the body. Consuming calories is one compensatory mechanism for an under slept individual, says MH advisor W. Chris Winter, MD, a neurologist and sleep specialist, and author of sleep books including The Rested Child. In other words, youre prone to eating more. Not only that, but after just one sleepless night, research reveals that youre also prone to specifically eating more calorie-dense and high-fat foods.
Sleep affects other weight-regulating hormones as well. Yes, sleep deprivation, even short term, can result in insulin and glucose imbalances, says Kuljeet Gill, MD, a sleep medicine specialist at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital. Lack of sleep can also affect how balanced cortisol and your thyroid hormones are.
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Rapid Eye Movement Sleep
This is when dreams occur and eyes move around rapidly in various directions, but don’t send any visual information to your brain. Faster breathing occurs with an increase in blood pressure and heart rate. This happens about an hour to an hour and a half after falling asleep.
As Rachel Larkin, a British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine Registered Nutritionist explained: “The different stages of sleep require different amounts of energy. During rapid eye movement sleep, the energy requirement is highest. Heart rate increases and the brain is more active. Brain activity requires glucose, increasing metabolism. When the body is in deep sleep the body temperature, heart rate and brain activity are lower and therefore metabolism and energy requirements are lower.”
Can You Increase That Number
Even when youre snoozing, there are some things you can do to burn extra calories. For instance, try wearing cooler pajamas or even sleeping in the buff. Sleeping cooler, which is easier in your birthday suit, can boost metabolism and aid in weight loss, says Terry Cralle, RN, clinical sleep educator and Saatva sleep expert. A National Institutes of Health study found that having a cooler body temperature while you sleep can help boost your bodys calorie-burning cells and metabolism.
Posey also recommends making sure any meals you eat in the evening are on the lighter side. Plus, regular exercise can keep your body at optimal calorie-burning levels, she adds, although exercising right before bedtime might rev you up and keep you from falling asleep. Find out some more ways you can literally lose weight in your sleep.
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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.
Do Sleep Stages Affect Calories
Not all sleep stages burn the same amount of calories. While basic functions such as breathing and circulation continue throughout the night, the bodys energy requirements ebb and flow.
The most energy-intensive sleep stage is rapid eye movement sleep. During REM sleep, our heart rate increases and our brain exhibits activity patterns similar to daytime levels. The heightened brain activity requires more glucose, leading to a higher metabolism.
Boost Your Metabolism By Eating Right
You know how some people can eat whatever they want, skip the gym and still not gain a pound. Their enviable magic likely comes down to this butterfly-shaped gland in the neck, called the thyroid.
Basically, the powerhouse of your metabolism, it sends out hormones that control how well your body burns the calories that you take in. Fuel your bodys natural fat-burning machine by giving it what it wants: foods rich in iodine zinc and selenium. Those include iodized salt, seaweed, meat, shellfish and Brazil nuts.
How Many Calories Do You Burn While You Sleep
As a very approximate number, we burn around 50 calories an hour while we sleep. However, every person burns a different amount of calories during sleep, depending on their personal basal metabolic rate .
The basal metabolic rate refers to the energy needed for essential functions such as breathing, circulation, temperature regulation, and cellular growth and repair. In most people, the basal metabolic rate accounts for approximately 80% of the total calories burned in a day. The brain itself burns glucose for energy, accounting for about 20% of the calories we consume while at rest.
Sleep is a time for the body to repair and regenerate. In order to do this more effectively, our body temperature drops, our breathing slows, and our metabolism lowers. On average most people burn about 15% fewer calories while sleeping, compared with their basal metabolic rate during the day.
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Sleep Better To Burn More Calories
Weve done the math, and people can burn anywhere between 300 and 700 calories each night. To increase this number, try sleeping in a cool dark room around 68 degrees. This will help you burn more calories to maintain your body temperature.
Physical activity during the day can also help you sleep better at night. You burn the most calories during REM sleep, so make sure your sleep cycle is getting you into this stage.
Lack of sleep, on the other hand, can lead to weight gain and may contribute to other health issues such as cardiovascular disease and even cancer. If youre struggling to get those eight hours each night, try keeping to a regular sleep schedule and limiting electronic and television use before bed. If this still doesnt work, consult your doctor to see if you are suffering from a sleep disorder.
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Too Much Vs Too Less Sleep
While too little sleep can cause weight gain according to this study, too much of it can also lead to the same. This is because when you sleep too much, you generally expend less energy, especially during the day. We tend to burn more calories when awake or moving around than while at rest.
On top of making sure you get appropriate amounts of sleep, it is possible to increase your day-to-day burning of calories by incorporating workouts into your routine. Another way to boost your metabolism as we shall learn later in this primer is by taking smaller meals as well as avoiding alcohol.
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Calories Burned While Sick
Do you burn more calories or less when youre unwell? This is a very difficult topic to come to a conclusion about.
Your body uses energy for essential tasks such as breathing, digestion, and blood circulation, which make up your basal metabolic rate . While some illnesses tend to raise BMR, others are known to lower it. It all depends on how serious the illness is and which organs are impacted.
BMR rises during infections because the body generates heat through cellular activity. This is known as non-shivering thermogenesis, and it is a defense mechanism against infections.
Sleep And Your Health
Now that you know better sleep will help you burn more calories while you rest, its no surprise that a poor nights sleep can have the opposite effect. A Cleveland study examined 3055 men and 3052 women between the ages of 67 and 96 and 70 and 99, respectively.
Compared to those who slept between seven and eight hours each night, men who slept less than five hours were nearly four times more likely to be obese. Women who slept less than five hours each night were more than twice as likely to be obese as their well-rested counterparts.
Short sleep length was also associated with increased body fat. Plus, people who are chronically sleep-deprived are more likely to be overweight, have cardiovascular disease, strokes, infections, and even some types of cancer compared to those who get enough sleep.
It should also be noted that sleep disturbances are more common among those suffering from age-related neurological disorders like Parkinsons and Alzheimers disease. Researchers arent sure yet which comes first disorders leading to loss of sleep or loss of sleep leading to disorders.
Bottom line: Your body needs a good nights sleep to function properly. If youve tried tips for improving your sleep and still cant get enough shut-eye, you may have a sleep disorder.
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Get Yourself That Morning Pick Me Up
Im not talking about a full-fat latte with whipped cream.
Just have a cup of plain black coffee. It can increase your metabolism and help you burn calories while lying around.
That same National Institute of Health looked at the effects of caffeine and found that it increased 29% of fat burn in slimmer people, and 10% in those who had some extra weight.
Caffeine goes straight to your nervous system and orders the fat cells to break down- Like a boss.
How To Sleep Better
If you dont sleep well, go back to basics. Take a look at your sleep environment and how you can improve it, put the smartphone/tablet down before bed and practice better relaxation techniques, invest in a new bed and if you still cant work out whats stopping you sleeping, why not keep a sleep diary? All simple ideas that could make for a better you this year.
Sleep: We all do it, but nearly half of us dont do it well. And with those kinds of figures, the best decision you can make for 2019 is to sleep better.
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Get A Good Sleep And Avoid Stress
If you want to be healthy, you should be aware of stress and sleep. Both of these factors are responsible for your weight and appetite. Sleep can affect hormones, including ghrelin and leptin. These hormones regulate your appetite. Your cortisol level is also elevated if you are stressed.
Fluctuating hormones can increase your cravings and hunger. This will lead you to consume unhealthy foods, which can lead to high-calorie consumption. Aside from that, stress and lack of sleep can increase your risk of various diseases, including obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Exercise Diet And Sleep
Some studies have found that eating too close to bedtime can lead to weight gain, though a more important factor seems to be the type of food you eat. If you feel compelled to indulge in a midnight snack, stay away from junk food, and opt for a light and healthy snack instead. As a bonus, a healthier diet, in turn, improves sleep quality.
Regular exercise and a healthy diet can help you regularize your sleep schedule, improve your muscle-to-fat ratio, and boost your metabolism. Avoid drinking caffeine and alcohol before bed. While caffeine does cause a temporary spike in metabolism, it interferes with sleep and is not an effective weight-loss strategy.
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Lower The Room Temperature
When youre cold, your body will need to burn more fuel to stay warm. And that fuel is calories. So, the colder it is, the more calories itll get rid of, hence the whole cold water thing earlier.
The best way to do it is to turn the thermostat down to 65 degrees while you sleep, your body will be doing all the work while youre off in dreamland.
Just be sure you dont put on too many clothes to stay warm. Otherwise, the only difference youll see is in your electric bill.