In the perfect world, sleeping burns fat, and instead of hitting the gym every morning, everyone sleeps in an extra hour. Unfortunately, we do not live in a perfect world, but sleeping does play a role in weight loss. 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 indicate 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. 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 things in and on your 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 sleeping or straighten 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 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 plays into every area of life, including decisions, cravings, and emotions. The more tired 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. Sometimes it means eating an entire carton of ice cream at 2 o’clock in the morning. Whatever the temptation is, when you are tired you become easier to convince.
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, individuals who do not adhere to a consistent sleep schedule see a decrease in the number of calories they burn while at rest. Additionally, they burn fewer calories after eating.
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.