In a perfect world, sleeping burns fat, and instead of hitting the gym every morning, everyone sleeps an extra hour. Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world, but you might be surprised to find out that sleeping and losing weight might have a correlation! Can you lose weight just by sleeping, and if so, how?
How Many Calories Do You Burn While Sleeping?
First things first: is there a direct correlation between sleeping and weight loss? While sleeping through the night is no hour-long cardio workout, your body continues to work even while resting. Studies have shown that a 150-lb individual burns close to 50 calories per hour while sleeping. That means an individual of average weight could burn 300-400 calories a night just by sleeping.
Of course, these calories are not enough to counter-balance the calories being consumed throughout the day and do not replace a healthy diet and exercise. However, this is where the other weight-loss benefits of sleep come in.
How Does Your Sleep Schedule Affect Your Weight?
All aspects of your body’s health are connected in some way. Many of the connections are indirect, but they still matter. Your sleep schedule actually affects many aspects of your mind and body, including your skin, growth, focus, and stress level. Additionally, your sleep schedule plays a large role in your weight, appetite, fitness, etc. If you are trying to lose weight by utilizing the benefits of sleeping or by straightening out your sleep schedule, keep the following facts in mind.
1. Poor sleep increases your appetite.
Did you know that your sleep schedule majorly impacts your body’s food cravings? This is because your body creates hormones to signal to your brain that you are hungry. When you are running low on sleep, your body makes extra hormones and convinces your brain that you are hungry, even if you know you have eaten plenty. That’s right, the midnight snack phenomenon has a scientific explanation!
2. Fatigue makes it difficult to fight cravings.
Exhaustion affects every area of life, including decisions, cravings, and emotions. The more sleep-deprived you are, the less likely you are to tell yourself no. Sometimes that manifests itself in stopping for fast food instead of eating the healthy leftovers in the fridge. It could also mean eating an entire carton of ice cream at 2 o’clock in the morning. The more tired you are the easier it is to make poor eating choices. If you find that you are too tired to prepare yourself a healthy dinner, try sneaking a cat nap in during the day. A short nap often goes a long way in giving you the energy you need to get through the day.
3. A consistent sleep schedule encourages a healthy metabolism.
While studies on the subject are still being conducted, data indicates that inconsistent or poor sleep reduces a person’s metabolic rate. In other words, if you don’t follow a consistent sleep schedule, you might see a decrease in the number of calories you burn while at rest. When you have a slow metabolism, it will also cause you to not burn as many calories after you’ve finished your meal.
Maintaining a regular sleep schedule is an important part of good sleep hygiene. Consider putting your phone down thirty minutes before you go to bed so you can unwind without screen time. Instead, reach for a book or practice some relaxing stretches.
4. Extra rest prevents insulin resistance.
Insulin resistance occurs when the sugar in your body’s cells refuses to be converted into energy and remains in the bloodstream. Your body begins producing more insulin to try and “force” the sugar to move from the bloodstream but makes you hungrier in the process. The excessive ingestion of calories quickly turns into weight gain. And a lack of sleep can cause it.
5. A rested body is more motivated to exercise.
Finally, a well-rested body is much more prone to remain active throughout the day. To maintain a healthy lifestyle, it is incredibly important to wake up each morning refreshed and ready to go.
Healthy sleep patterns make a huge difference in your day-to-day activities. Try making little changes to slowly get into better sleep habits. For example, if you only get 5-6 hours of sleep per night, try going to bed 30 minutes to an hour earlier. It is sometimes difficult to sleep in the summer because of how hot it gets, try some of these tips to stay cool so you can get better sleep. The amount of sleep you get each night really impacts all areas of your life including your weight. Make better sleep a priority and start feeling like a new you!