You’d think that because we don’t move around as much in our sleep that we burn little to no calories. Surprise, surprise! Even during the idle times of our slumber, our bodies continue to metabolise, therefore, burn calories. This is known as the basal metabolic rate (BMR), the number of calories you burn when at rest.
The BMR accounts for sustaining the processes of your body such as breathing, pumping blood, and repairing cells. Similar to daytime, we also burn from digesting our food and converting it into energy.
How Much Calories Do I Burn in My Sleep?
So we know that we do burn calories but how much is a bigger question. The number of burned calories depends on numerous factors including weight, height, sex, amount of sleep.
Weight and Height
The rule here is that the more you weigh and the taller you are, the more calories you burn.
Men and women burn calories differently because of their muscle to fat ratio difference. Men have a higher muscle mass which aids in a faster metabolism easily torching calories. On the flipside, women store more fat than muscle making it difficult to burn as many calories as men.
Amount of Sleep
When we sleep, we go through five phases of sleep as a cycle multiple times a night. The final stage, rapid eye movement (REM) phase, is when our brain is most active. As a matter of fact, it is sometimes even more active than our waking state brain. Congruently, the REM phase is also the time when we burn the most calories.
The torched calories when we sleep is computed by the hour. Although we only burn roughly 40 to 60 calories an hour, it definitely adds up once we multiply it to the number of shuteye hours we got.
How Do I Burn More Calories in My Sleep?
Exercise is not only beneficial for our waking life but it has great effects to the amount of calories we burn in our sleep. Building our muscles through strength training helps increase our metabolism including the aforementioned BMR.
Schedule your sleep
Scheduling your sleep entails going to bed at the same time and waking up at the same time everyday. By forming a sleep pattern, you can ensure that you get enough of the much needed REM sleep. Even small habits like hitting the snooze button in the morning can disrupt REM. This does not exclusively affect the amount of calories burned. The lack of REM sleep could bring the feeling of fatigue and sleepiness in our awake state.
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Minimise Sleep Disruptions
The more you are awakened in your sleep, the less REM sleep you get. Make sure that your sleeping environment is as comfortable as possible. If you sleep with a partner, especially one who tosses and turns in their sleep, purchasing a mattress that isolates motion might be a good investment for better sleep (and more calories burned!)