Burning Calories as You Sleep
When you think of burning calories, some of the things that come to mind is doing aerobic exercise, weight lifting, or going on walks and jogs. Guess what? You can burn calories from not moving at all – your body burns calories while you sleep! How does this all work? Believe it or not, your body is still working very hard even while you are getting much-needed shuteye. While your body is sleeping, your brain is processing and discarding of useless information that you have accumulated throughout the day, along with speeding up the cell repair and cell growth.
How Many Calories Are We Talking?
Surprisingly, your body burns roughly .42 calories per hour, per pound of body weight while you sleep. So, if you take your current weight and multiply it by .42, times the number of hours you sleep, voila! That is how many calories your body burns every night. To compare, the number of calories your body burns during the night about equals out to an hour-long jog. Fascinating, right? Now, that doesn’t mean you can stop exercising altogether. It is always beneficial to do active exercise, because your body can burn just as many calories within a fraction of the time when it is asleep.
Your REM Uses Energy, too!
Your body’s REM, or Rapid Eye Movement, is when your brain is the most highly active and burns the highest amount of glucose, which is your body’s main source of fuel. While your REM is activated, your heart rate and blood pressure actually rise, because your body is working hard while you sleep. Even though you are giving your body a necessary rest to refuel for tomorrow’s adventures, the rest of your body is hard at work to get you ready for the next day.
Is There a Limit to the Calories Burned?
Although there is not a set number to how many calories your body can burn in a single night, there are some tricks that you can do to increase the number. For example:
- Wear cooler pajamas, or nothing at all. Sleeping cooler can actually boost your body’s metabolism and become an aid for weight loss.
- Enjoy late-night snacks? While there is nothing wrong with the midnight munchies, it is important to make sure that the snacks are on the lighter side. If they are denser in calories, than it will impede on your sleep.
- Make sure to exercise around 3 to 4 hours before going to bed, so that your body has the ability to calm down after reaching optimal calorie-burning levels.
Our bodies are amazing, because they can even burn calories while we sleep! Although we work hard when we are awake during the day, our bodies will never stop so we can become the most successful.