How your body uses calories while you snooze

How your body uses calories while you snooze


Despite using less energy while you sleep, it’s an active time for your brain and certain bodily functions and your body
burns calories to repair tissue and file memories.

How much calories are burned during sleeping is a complex interaction between sleep, diet, exercise, etc. Your personal
basal metabolic rate (BMR) determines how many calories you burn while sleeping. Scientists think a general calorie
burning average is about 50 calories per hour while we sleep.

Sleep stages and calories

Not all sleep stages burn the same number of calories. Basic functions such as breathing and circulation continue
throughout the night, but the body’s energy requirements fluctuate.

Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep is the most energy-intensive sleep stage. During this stage, your heart rate increases, and your brain’s activity patterns are similar to daytime levels. The brain’s higher activity requires more glucose, and this leads to a higher metabolism.

During deep sleep, on the other hand, you heart rate, respiration, core body temperature, and brain activity drop to a minimum. This is an important stage for the immune system as growth hormones are released. Because the brain now requires less glucose, metabolism is at its lowest.

Burning more calories with zzzs

If you want to burn more calories during sleep, you need to increase your basal metabolic rate and the easiest way to do this is by eating right, getting enough exercise, and sleeping well.

A lack of sleep can cause a surge in hormones that make you crave high-calorie foods. Sleep loss raises cortisol levels, which may contribute to weight gain, insulin resistance, and even type 2 diabetes. So, while the extra awake time may result in more calories being burned, sleep deprivation can have a serious impact on your overall health.

Sleep interruptions during REM sleep is most likely to affect the number of calories you burn during sleep. Implementing proper sleep hygiene habits and creating a cool, dark, quiet bedroom environment will encourage your body to naturally cycle through the sleep stages and optimise your metabolism while sleeping.

Exercise, diet, and sleep

Some studies have found that eating too close to bedtime can lead to weight gain, but what you eat seems to be more important. If you feel peckish around bedtime, opt for a light and healthy snack rather than fast food or something greasy. Afterall, a healthier diet improves sleep quality.

Regular exercise and a healthy diet are habits that can help you create a regular sleep schedule, improve your muscle-to-fat ratio, and boost your metabolism. And while caffeine does cause a temporary spike in metabolism, it interferes with sleep and is not an effective weight-loss strategy.

Sweet dreams

To get a good night’s sleep you need a comfortable mattress. Find the right one for your needs today.