During sleep, the body burns an average of 0.4 calories per pound of body weight per hour. Therefore, some people who weigh 150 pounds and sleep 8 hours at night will burn 400 calories during sleep.
Weight regulation requires more than just a healthy diet and adequate exercise. Genes, stress and sleep patterns can also influence weight regulation. As well as diet and exercise, another thing you can control is your sleep patterns. How much sleep you get at night can affect long-term weight regulation. Some studies have shown that you burn more calories than you sleep if you stay up all night, but if you do this over the long term it can backfire and increase the risk of weight gain.
When you are sleep deprived, metabolic rate, appetite regulation and calorie burning change than when you are well rested.
Fewer calories are burned at night compared to daytime activities, but they still provide some energy. Most of the energy needed during sleep is for the brain. Your body also needs this time to repair body cells, release hormones, and so on. Just because your body burns some calories during sleep doesn’t mean you should start sleeping too much. Sleep is an important part of your overall health, but it shouldn’t be too much or too little at night.
What happens when you sleep?
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, sleep accounts for between a quarter and a third of the human lifespan. Why is sleep so important? Sleep is vital to brain function. That’s why when you don’t get enough sleep, you feel groggy or mentally drained. During sleep, the brain processes what you’ve learned during the day. Sleep also removes waste products that have built up in your brain cells. During sleep, the body also renews its cells and immune system.
While you sleep, your body uses energy to do these tasks. So, even if you remain relatively still, your body uses energy to renew cells and maintain brain function.
Why is getting enough sleep so important for your body?
Lack of sleep can affect your health in many ways. How much sleep your body needs varies from person to person, but in general, most adults should get between 7-9 hours of sleep a night.
Short-term health effects of sleep deprivation include(2):reduced mental alertness, reduced memory, reduced information processing, mood swings and reduced desire to be active during the day. Long-term health effects may include an increased risk of developing high blood pressure, diabetes or heart disease.
Burning calories while sleeping
There is variation in how many calories you burn during sleep, but a general estimate for adults is 0.4 calories per pound of body weight per hour. So, some people who weigh 150 pounds and sleep 8 hours at night will burn 400 calories during sleep. It’s about how much energy your body uses during sleep to do all the tasks it needs to do. If a person exercises more while sleeping, then their estimate of calories may be higher.
Metabolic rates will also change; some people may burn more or less than this average. Remember that a pound of fat is 3500 calories.
Sleep and metabolism
Why is sleep deprivation linked to obesity? Researchers are still studying the exact mechanisms of how sleep deprivation affects metabolism and weight gain. However, some studies have shown that when sleep deprivation occurs, metabolism slows down, appetite regulation is altered and physical activity during the day decreases.
A 2013 study looked at the effects of five days of sleep deprivation in 16 study participants. Interestingly, sleep deprivation increased total calorie consumption by about 5%. However, energy intake, especially after dinner, increased calorie expenditure by more than 5%. The researchers found that sleep deprivation led to weight gain.
The increase in food intake during sleep deprivation is thought to be a way for the body to stay awake. This study and other researchers conclude that sleep plays a key role in energy metabolism.
Conclusion: Sleep and calorie burning
During sleep, the body burns an average of 0.4 calories per pound of body weight per hour. This energy is used for bodily functions such as brain, repairing cells, hormone regulation and renewing the immune system. Studies have shown that you will burn more calories if you stay awake at night instead of sleeping. However, over time, sleep deprivation can interfere with metabolism and weight regulation.
Therefore, staying up late to increase calorie burning in order to lose weight is not recommended. More calories are consumed when you are sleep deprived, probably because the body tries to compensate to increase alertness. Sleep deprivation is associated with obesity. Getting enough sleep at night is necessary for overall health and weight regulation. You may not burn many calories during sleep, but these calories are an important part of staying healthy.
Remember that increasing your nightly sleep from 7-9 hours to more than 7-9 hours may not help with weight loss. If you do get the recommended amount of sleep at night but still don’t feel it’s enough, consult your healthcare team. If you have insomnia or other health problems that affect your sleep at night, consult your medical team.