Your body burns calories while you sleep – Here’s how to burn the most

You must have wondered at some point in life that do you lose calories while asleep. You may think the answer is no but here is the surprising part you do lose calories while sleeping. Your body utilizes energy even when at rest and results in burning calories. Losing calories while asleep is affected by various factors which include the metabolism, weight and the amount of sleep you have each night.

How to Determine the Amount of Calories You Burn?

Take an example of an individual who weighs around 125 pounds, in this weight; you lose approximately 38 calories for each sleeping hour. It is not too many calories, but if you multiply it with 7-8 hours, then you lose around 266-342 calories for sleeping 8-9 hours each day.

The calorie burn depends on the increased body weight of an individual, higher the weight higher will be the number of calories burning from the body. So take an example of a person who weighs around 150 pounds, he will consume about 46 calories in each sleeping hour, i.e., around 322-414 calories for each night. If a person weighs about 185 pounds, then he burns around 56 calories for each sleeping hour and 392-504 calories for each sleeping night.

Amount of Calories You Burn during sleeping

How Do You Calculate The Number of Calories Burned by Sleeping?

It all depends on the metabolism that is a process of food conversion into energy utilized for daily activities. Even when your body functions, the systems work, breathing or circulation, it all results in burning calories. However, the basal metabolic rate, on the other hand, represents the number of calories which you burn on each day in a resting or sedentary stage, i.e., during sleeping or in a sitting posture.

For calculating the BMR, you need to consider factors which include weight, sex, age using pounds and inches for your height.

  • BMR for men: 66 + (6.2 ×weight) + (12.7 x height) – (6.76 x age)
  • BMR for women: 655.1 + (4.35 x weight) + (4.7 x height) – (4.7 x age)


  • Consider a man aged 35-years old who is 175 pounds and has a height of 5 feet 11 inches so BMR would be:

66 + (6.2 x 175) + (12.7 x 71) – (6.76 x 35) = 1,816 calories.

  • Consider a woman aged 35 years who is 135 pounds and has a height of 5 feet, 5 inches, so BMR would be:

655.1 + (4.35 x 135) + (4.7 x 65) – (4.7 x 35) = 1,383 calories.

So, it concludes that the higher the mass you have, the more it burns your calories, i.e., during sleeping, resting and performing other activities. Men have a greater tendency to burn calories when compared to females while sitting because they have higher muscle mass than women of the same weight.

Muscles result in more calorie loss than the fat in the body.

Tips to Burn Calories While Asleep

Tips to Burn Calories While Asleep

How Many Calories Do You Burn While Sleeping?

1.Eat Small Meals But Frequently

You can increase your metabolism by burning more calories at night and eat small meals frequently throughout your day. Your body results in increased burning of calories when you are digesting food. However, your metabolism is slow when you are starving and do not eat. Eat snacks and small meals after every few hours which increases your metabolism and maintains your appetite.

A key to burning extra calories is to consume a snack or meal after every 3-4 hours. However, eat small meals, avoid overeating and do not stay starving. Consume less intake of fats, i.e., not more than 30% of your calories. Limit your intake of saturated fats and sugar and consume foods which are rich in fiber such as vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.

2.Avoid Going to Bed in a Hungry State

When your body is starving it results in lowering down your metabolism which conserves calories. You can eat a snack before going to bed if you are feeling hungry, however, eat healthy meals. A high-fat food before going to bed is the worst choice, so it’s better to have a fruit or cereal mixed with skim milk. You can skip a snack before going to bed if you are not hungry.

3.Avoid Skipping Meals

Once you start skipping a meal, your body metabolism slows down and begin conserving the calories. To prevent the conservation of your calories, avoid skipping meals and have a meal when you are hungry or eat a snack to keep your metabolism healthy. If you have a high metabolism working during the daytime, it will burn more calories when you are asleep.

4.Perform Regular Exercise

Regular exercises help in burning more calories and results in high metabolism throughout the day along with night. It is essential to add resistance and cardiovascular exercises in your workout regime which helps in increased calorie burnout. Cardio exercises aids in burning calories during your workout regime while the resistance exercises help in losing more calories throughout the day as well as night.

5.Increase Your Muscle Mass & Decrease Fat

If your muscle mass is more, you will burn more calories when at rest than the fats in your body. People who have lean body mass and that too in high percentage are prone to burning more calories when at sleep. The simplest way to increase your lean muscle tissue and decreasing your body fat is by performing the resistance training exercises for a few days in a week.

The examples of such activities include the rear lunges, squats, sit-ups, push-ups, bicep curls, triceps extensions, lateral shoulder raises, and deadlifts. Pilate exercises are perfect for resistance training, it keeps your body in tone and increases your metabolism.

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Which Metabolism Boosters Help in Burning your Calories While Asleep?

  • Have spicy food in your diet that increases your metabolism. According to small studies conducted in Japan, the consumption of hot red pepper aids in boosting the metabolism to 30%. However, they used a massive amount of red pepper in their meals, i.e., around 5-6 tsp. in each meal.
  • According to a study conducted in Switzerland, 6 men out of 10 consumed green tea supplement thrice daily with each meal. It helped in burning 80 extra calories during the 24 hours than the people who drank caffeine or a dummy pill. According to the researchers, flavonoids which are present in tea are responsible for boosting metabolism.
  • Consume a cup of Java, i.e., around 8-oz cup which consists of around 135 mg of caffeine. This amount is enough to boost up your metabolism for an extra 2 hours. If you consume java before doing a workout, it offers an extra kick. Caffeine helps in burning the stored fat into energy which can be utilized during exercise. Avoid taking caffeine if you have high blood pressure.
  • Avoid eating few calories as this results in slowing down of your metabolism.
  • According to a study, if you skip your breakfast, the resting metabolic rate drops by 5%, and you will gain weight in a year.

How Many Calories Do You Burn While Sleeping?

Factors Which Affect The Number Of Calories You Burn During Sleep

According to research by physiological society, if you skip your night’s sleep, you burn around 135 calories during that period. Some participants lost approximately 160 calories. However, skipping sleep is not healthy for your health. Sleep loss can result in weight gain as well as obesity over time. It leads to the elevation of hormones known as cortisol. This hormone is responsible for making extra fat, it increases your appetite and slows down the metabolism. To boost your metabolism, you need to take measures which helps in burning more calories.

  • Muscle mass has an essential impact on burning the number of calories your body needs. When you are sleeping and have greater muscle mass, it burns more sugar and fats when compared to the person who has an average muscle mass or has more fats. A muscle weighing single pound consumes around 50 calories during the 24 hours while fat of the same weight consumes approximately 9 calories.
  • Metabolism has an essential role in burning calories. A more active person burns extra calories than the one who has a slower metabolism with less energy consumption. The active person replenishes extra energy during the day while asleep than the person who is not functioning the entire day.
  • In a relaxed environment, your boy needs extra energy which in turn produces heat. Similarly, discomfort or stress results in restless sleep which increases the level of cortisol- a type of hormone which is provided by the adrenal cortex and helps in lowering the metabolism. According to a study conducted on 31 healthy individuals who slept in a 66 or 75- degree room. Researchers concluded that people who slept in cold environment burned 7% extra calories than the ones who were warm sleepers because in cold temperature the bodies worked to increase the core body temperature and maintain it to 98.6 degrees as stated by Francesco Saverio Celi, MD, MHSc. If the thermostat in the room is lowered to 66 degrees, it results in 100 calories loss according to a study.
  • Eat before you go to bed as this temporarily increases the metabolism which is known as thermogenesis. And this is a wrong concept that if you eat after 8 pm, you will gain extra weight, this is not true you can eat midnight snacks. However, avoid eating large meals before going to bed.
  • Incorporate exercise into your daily regime as this helps in increasing your muscle mass and aids in burning more calories.
  • Try losing some weight which helps in boosting the metabolism and results in increased calorie burn. If you are obese, your fat is not entirely burned and results in loss of few calories.
  • Caffeine aids in increasing your metabolism. However, it does not help in long-term weight loss. Drinking the caffeinated beverages before bed can make it harder for you to sleep at night.
  • If you are planning to use supplements for boosting metabolism, then use it with caution.
  • Some health conditions are also responsible for slowing down the metabolism which includes hypothyroidism and Cushing’s syndrome. In these conditions, you burn fewer calories than other healthy individuals. Consult your doctor regarding your weight management.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol before going to bed. According to Breus, it is recommended to avoid drinking alcohol three hours before going to bed. He explained that you need to give your body some time for metabolizing the alcohol entirely so that you can enter the REM sleep and burn extra calories.
  • According to Psychology Today Article, sleeping naked also helps in losing extra calories while asleep. Bruce explains according to his research that when you sleep naked your body has a cold temperature which increases the reserves of your body’s brown fat- a fay which burns your extra energy in the form of calories. If you don’t feel comfortable sleeping naked, then you can keep the colder temperature of your room which aids in burning extra calories.
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Bottom line

The human bodies burn extra calories when in a deep sleep, i.e., REM sleep or rapid eye movement, as stated by the sleep specialist known as Dr. Michael Breus. When in REM sleep, the glucose metabolism increases and accelerates the calorie burn. The more you sleep, the higher you burn the calories. However, oversleeping can slow down your metabolism. Your body is in a working stage for 24 hours of the day, but you need to exercise regularly and sleep well to help in burning calories.

According to experts, you should perform 75 minutes of vigorous exercise like running or moderate activity of around 150 minutes each week for losing some calories. Stick to foods which are non-sugary and with fewer fats. Try consuming 7-9 hours of sleep with a healthy regime to achieve weight loss.