How Many Calories Do You Burn While Sleeping?

Wondering how many calories your body burns while you sleep? Here's What the Science Says

You probably already know that sleep is crucial to your health on every level. When you don't get enough rest, your mood, your memory, your reflexes, and your willpower (including your ability to stick to a diet or refuse that second helping of cake) all suffer. But did you know that your body also burns calories during sleep?
How Many Calories Do You Burn While Sleeping
When you are unconscious, your body is trying to recover from all the stress you experienced while awake, and this recovery process requires energy. The calories burned during sleep make up a significant portion of the body's total caloric needs, at least when you're sedentary.

Read on to learn how to calculate calories burned during sleep and how this should and shouldn't affect your dietary choices.

Calories Burned During Good Sleep

There are essentially no limits to complexity when it comes to the human body, so to keep things simple we'll give you a simple and complex answer. Simple answers are enough to make educated food choices, but complex answers will satisfy curiosity better.

Estimating Calories Burned During Sleep the Simple Way

Humans burn an average of 40 to 80 calories per hour during sleep. In other words, if you sleep for 7 hours, you can expect to burn 280 to 560 calories during that time. To put that into perspective, that’s close to the expected calorie burn of an hour of walking – not bad for an unconscious person!

Estimating Calories Burned During Sleep the Complex Way

If you want your diet to be as accurate as possible, you may notice that the estimate of 280-560 given is quite large. After all, a 500-calorie deficit per day is enough to lose a pound of fat per week!

To narrow down these numbers, we need to look at all the variables at play. These include:
  • Age
  • High
  • Weight
  • Body Composition (Fat Vs. Muscle Tissue)
  • Gender
  • Activity Level

Generally speaking, metabolic demands increase with age, weight, and muscle mass, and men tend to burn more calories during sleep than women. Lifestyle factors also come into play: For example, if you're training for a marathon or lifting weights regularly, your body will spend more energy repairing muscle tissue than it would in most sedentary situations.

How Many Calories Do You Burn While Sleeping

Should You Consider Sleep Calories In Your Diet?

Whether you're on the higher end or the lower end, you need to consider these calories burned when formulating your diet. Thankfully, there's an easier way than taking part in a sleep monitoring study to determine your precise numbers.

All you need to do is get a complete picture of your calorie needs. You can use trial and error to calculate how many calories you consume per week on average; this will tell you approximately how many calories you need to maintain your weight. Another word for this number is your BMR or basal metabolic rate: the number of calories your body needs to stay alive, including everything from brain function to restorative sleep.

Know Your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)

Let's use an example to help make this concept clearer. If you are a sedentary, 6-foot-tall, 185-pound man who consumes an average of 2,000 calories per day and maintains your weight week after week, your BMR is 2,000. There are formulas and free calculators online that can help you get a rough estimate of this number, but everyone is different, and getting down from an approximation to an exact number takes some trial and error, which is why successful dieting starts with tracking your weight and calorie accurately intake.

Calculating your BMR is a neat way to factor in the calories you burn during sleep without actually knowing them specifically, but it's still worth knowing the role sleep plays in your metabolism, especially if you're going through a period (breakup? college) finals. ) when you don’t get enough sleep. Not only will you burn fewer calories, but your body will crave more food to help compensate for the stress of not getting enough sleep.
How Many Calories Do You Burn While Sleeping
Bottom line: sleep is vital to health, and its benefits are so powerful, that if we could bottle it, the world would be buying it as a supplement. Not only will you burn a healthy amount of calories during a good night's sleep, it will also allow your body to burn more calories the next day, so get some sleep, friends!