Your body is constantly burning calories, even while you are sleeping but you might be surprised to learn just how many calories you burn while asleep. While taking a nap or going to sleep for the night does not burn as many calories as exercising, your body still burns calories maintaining critical functions like your heart, lungs, brain and digestive system.
Factors Affecting Calories Burned
Everyone’s body and metabolism are different which means we all burn different amounts of calories while sleeping. There are a number of factors the effect the number of calories you burn including:
One of the primary factors that affects the number of calories burned while sleeping is your diet. While asleep, your body is hard at work digesting you last meal or snack. If the last thing you ate was a healthy meal, free of spicy foods that might upset your stomach you will likely get better sleep, and in turn end up digesting more calories.
Another factor that impact the number of calories burned while sleeping is your weight. People who weigh less tend to have less mass to burn, resulting in fewer calories burned while in bed when compared to larger individuals.
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Length of sleep
The longer you sleep the more opportunities you have to enter REM sleep cycles where you burn additional calories due to the increase in brain activity. If you are having trouble sleeping on a regular basis try using a sleep mask or earplugs to block out noise!
A persons muscle mass also plays an important role in determining how many calories are burned per hour while sleeping. Individuals with larger muscles, especially men, tend to burn more calories per hour both while both awake and sleeping due to the increase in calories needed to build and maintain muscle mass.
Your body is constantly burning calories trying to maintain an internal body temperature. If you are sleeping in a comfortable environment your body will burn fewer calories due to the ease of maintaining your core temperature. However if you are sleeping of hot or cold climates the body will use extra calories to heat or cool itself, resulting in extra calories burned while sleeping
Sleeping and burning calories
Most people burn .42 calories per pound, per hour of sleep. To determine the exact number of calories you burned last night or while you were napping all you need to do is multiply your weight by hours slept by .42. If you sleep longer or weigh more you will burn more calories!