Doesn’t it sound cool to be able to lose weight while you are sleeping? What more could you ask for! Today, people look for ways to burn calories. Little do they realize that a good night’s sleep can do the trick.
Several scientific studies suggest that if you are not having quality and quantity sleep, you are bound to gain weight. What happens during sleep is the number of hours you sleep accounts for the number of calories you burn.
Usually, a person burns around 0.42 calories for every pound in an hour. For instance, a person who weighs 150 pounds burns 63 calories an hour. If he/she sleeps for eight hours, the person would burn around 500 calories during the time of the sleep! So, sleep more and let your body burn more calories.
How Does It Work?
Burning calories is directly proportional to the energy required whilst performing any task. Accordingly, every action of your body uses up energy and burns calories. This includes digesting food, breathing and even sleeping!
If you’re not sleeping well at night, you may be causing hormonal imbalances that could be making you feel hungry when you don’t really need to eat. Leptin and ghrelin which are the appetite hormones are mostly made during sleep. Now if people do not get sufficient sleep, it is obvious to not experience that sense of satiety and fullness which is possible when you have enough sleep.
REM or Rapid Eye Movement sleep is an important factor that determines night time calorie burn. During REM sleep, what happens is that the brain remains active even while the body is motionless. In fact, it is more active while you are awake. Like you know that for the brain to function during the night, food is needed. Thus, glucose is constantly manufactured while you are sleeping.
During REM sleep, glucose metabolism increases, thereby proliferating the rate of calorie burn.
How Body Burns Calories While Sleeping?
Basically, your brain never stops working! In your sleep, it makes sure that you do not skip a heartbeat. This burns some calories. Then, the pumping of blood and taking in oxygen also burns calories. At other times, you find yourself waking up due to coughing because you were about to choke in your sleep. This again burns some calories.
2. Tossing & Turning
In order to ensure that our body stays comfortable while sleeping and the blood flow is not restricted to one side, we toss and turn quite often. For this, we need energy which our body consumes during sleep and thus burns calories.
3. Cell Replacement
When we are asleep, the cells and tissues that have been worn out undergo a process of revival. This is because the brain focuses on the internal system of the body during sleep. Cell replacement becomes an important task that takes place while you sleep which requires energy. Hence, more calories are burned.
How To Burn More Calories While Sleeping?
1. Exercise Every day But Not Before Sleeping
Exercising is always the best idea to burn calories. However, it is advisable to stop exercising at least four hours prior to your bedtime. Exercising increases your body temperature which makes it hard for you to fall asleep.
2. Eat Less in Dinner and Abstain From Eating Late at Night
Usually, we have a tendency to eat the least in the morning and the most at night. But the opposite is more beneficial when it comes to burning calories. Eating heavy meals just before sleep does not give your body enough time to metabolize it. Scientific studies have proven that the brain emits a growth hormone during deep sleep and when we eat late at night, that hormone propels the body to store food as fat. Thus, it makes more sense to eat less at supper and more in the morning.
3. Adhere to A Sleep Pattern
Go to bed early and make sure to adhere to your sleep pattern. Sleep for at least 7 hours. If you do not experience REM sleep, you are not having a sound sleep and cannot burn optimum calories. Do not use the snooze button on the alarm since it hampers REM sleep.
Few Tips on How to Get a Good Night’s Sleep:
- Take a Hot Shower
- Hide your Mobile Phones
- Eat Whole Grains at Lunch
- Don’t Drink Alcohol Three Hours Before Bed
- Sleep In The Nude
As opposed to popular belief, our body is actually the most active(internally, of course) when it is asleep. Even though we are unconscious, our brain does not stop working. It has far more responsibilities towards us when we go to sleep which is why most energy is used up at that time. Till now there have been quite a lot of researches about how important sleep is for weight loss and to be fit and healthy. It has been proven that the rate of calorie burn is substantial during sleep. Lastly, remember that an optimum 7-8 hours of sleep is a must and a precondition to push for weight loss.