How many calories do you burn in your sleep?

Couple Sleeping on Bed

A calorie is a unit of measurement referring to stored energy and energy expenditure. So, calories in diet are eaten and in exercise are burned. The more calories a food has the more energy it can provide your body with. When you eat more calories than you need the extra calories are stored as body fat.

Absorption of calories continues throughout the night. How many calories do you burn in your sleep? Read on…

Calories Burned Calculations and Formulae

The amount of calories burned sleeping depends on your body weight. And on individual metabolism. This is a process where your body converts food into energy for everyday activities, such as breathing, blood circulation, cellular growth, and nerve and brain function.

Your body is always burning calories even when you’re sleeping. And calories burned during sleep are used to maintain essential body functions. Night-time activities include supervising and controlling internal temperatures.

So, how many calories does sleeping burn? An average figure is between 266 and 342 calories a night based on a weight of 126 pounds (nine stone) and getting at least seven hours of sleep each night.

Another simple way to measure how many calories do you burn when you sleep is by using the following guide. On average you burn approximately .42 calories per hour per pound of bodyweight. Multiply your weight in pounds by .42. then multiply that amount by the number of hours you sleep.

For example, if you weigh 155 pounds (11 stone 7) and you sleep for eight hours you’ll burn around 520 calories as you sleep. Do you burn calories when you sleep? The answer to that question is yes.

Couple Holding Hands Lying on Field

Basal Metabolic Rate

Your basal metabolic rate signifies the number of calories you burn when you’re sedentary – at rest, sitting and sleeping. You can calculate your BMR by using an equation that factors in your age, weight in pounds, height in inches, and whether you’re male or female.

For women the formula is:

BMR = 655.1 + (4.34 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.68 x age in years)

For men the formula is:

BMR = 66.4 + (6.24 x weight in pounds) + (12.71 x height in inches) – (6.78 x age in years)

Your metabolic rate reduces by around 15% when you’re asleep. Using the BMR to calculate how many calories the body burns during sleep can be achieved by using the following formula:

Calories burned by sleeping = (BMR/24) x number of hours asleep x 85

BMR Affecting Factors

Your basal metabolic rate can be affected by a variety of influences and these include:

  • Age
  • Amount of sleep
  • Diet
  • General health
  • Health conditions such as hyperthyroidism
  • Height and weight
  • Hormone levels
  • Level of physical activity

REM Sleep Explained

There are two basic types of sleep: rapid eye movement (REM) and non-REM sleep. Both are linked to specific brain waves. During the night you cycle through all stages of non-REM and REM sleep several times with increasingly longer periods of deep REM sleep happening as morning approaches.

REM sleep initially tales place about 90 minutes after falling asleep. Your eyes move rapidly from side to side behind closed eye lids – hence the name. Breathing becomes fast and irregular as your heart rate and blood pressure increase. Most dreaming also happens during REM sleep.

You burn more calories when you’re in a deep sleep. And night-time calorie burn is actually dependant on REM. Body fuel or glucose is continually being manufactured during sleeping hours – and getting plenty of REM sleep will burn the optimum number of calories. The ability to burn calories during the night simply relies on a good night’s sleep.

Man listeing to MP3 Player lying on bed

Burning More Calories Whilst Sleeping

Poor sleep results in raised levels of the hunger hormone and lower levels of leptin. A good night’s sleep is essential for good mental, physical, and emotional health. As well as for growth, learning, and memory.

Sleeping less than five hours a night can potentially increase your weight. And sleep loss over time can contribute to obesity. Sleep deprivation can elevate hormone levels in the body that results in holding onto additional fat. And can lead to a slower metabolism and increase your appetite.

Do you burn calories in your sleep? As we now know the answer is yes. But can you burn even more calories? Find out below…

  • Going to bed at exactly the same time every night will ensure you get the correct amount of good, deep sleep
  • If you feel tired during the day take a short power nap – just don’t go over 30 minutes as sleeping in the daytime often makes it harder to sleep at night
  • Don’t drink alcohol for at least three hours prior to going to bed – and stimulants like caffeine and nicotine may make it harder for you to relax
  • Avoid strenuous exercise for at least four hours before bedtime – but make sure you exercise daily to gain more muscle mass that helps you burn more calories as you sleep
  • Turn off all electronic devices at least an hour before heading to bed – cell phones, televisions, and computers all disrupt your body’s natural sleeping rhythm as they emit light
  • Take a warm bath and read to relax – and consider yoga and meditation techniques to help you de-stress and wind down – things that affect mental wellbeing can cause sleep deprivation when not addressed
  • Bear in mind that certain smells can affect your mood such as lavender and geranium that are naturally calming, helping you to drift off – and adding special touches to your room which help you feel comfortable and peaceful include plants, ornaments, and family photos
  • Make sure your bedroom is dark and cool, and your mattress and pillows are comfortable and supporting
  • Sleeping naked can also cool temperatures and boost metabolism

Products to Help You Sleep

Sleep aid products include:

  • Headband monitors that measure your brain activity – playing sounds that make falling asleep easier and enhancing deep sleep
  • Sensate devices that link to your phone and allow you to simply relax within just a few minutes of use
  • Touchpoints placed on wrists to effectively relive stress and anxiety

Lynda Ishida My job is to write but my hobby is to research the latest tech innovations, especially for health & wellness.