How to Burn More Calories While You Sleep

26 October, 2020
You might wonder whether or not you really burn calories in your sleep? In this article, we'll look at how to burn the most calories possible while sleeping!

It goes without saying that we use the most energy when we’re awake. But, we also burn calories when we sleep since certain bodily functions need to keep working to keep us alive!

As a result, you might wonder if there’s a way to maximize the number of calories you burn whilst you’re asleep? In this article, we’ll tell you what’s most important and what you can do to burn more calories.

Base metabolic rate

Your base metabolic rate is the number of calories that your body needs each day just to stay alive. This is calculated using the Harris-Benedict formula, as stated in this research published in the American Journal of Critical Care.

This formula takes into account gender, age, body weight, and height and uses these measures to estimate the amount of energy that you need to keep your vital bodily functions working. These calories are burned both during the day and at night and don’t take into consideration any physical exercise you might do.

The body contains a range of different tissues, and each of them has different energy requirements. Muscle, for example, is much more metabolically active than fat. This means that the more muscle you have, the more calories your body will burn when you’re resting, including when you’re sleeping.

In fact, according to a study published in Frontiers of Hormone Research, physical exercise regulates your energy expenditure by creating muscle mass and causing hormonal metabolic changes.

A man strength training with a dumbell.

To burn more calories while you sleep, do strength training

Strength training has been shown to be the most effective way of increasing muscle mass. By subjecting your muscles to the right stimulus and intensity you can increase muscle mass and, therefore burn more calories throughout the day and even at night.

However, to increase your percentage of muscle mass and reduce body fat, you need to also think about your diet:

  • Consume fewer ultra-processed foods.
  • Consume more protein.
  • Make sure you each meat, fish, eggs, or dairy products every day.
  • Don’t completely eliminate fats, but try to avoid trans fats.
  • Try to consume slightly more calories than you need, but without overdoing it.
  • Avoid alcohol, refined sugar, or toxic substances such as tobacco.
  • Get enough rest each day.

When sleeping, you burn calories and regenerate tissues

The body doesn’t just burn calories when you’re asleep. It also takes advantage of this moment of rest to repair any tissues damaged during the day. This process uses energy to synthesize anabolic hormones, such as growth hormones.

Getting plenty of sleep ensures that your tissues recover properly, slows the aging process, and ensures that you’ll wake up with energy to face a new day.

A man sleeping with the light on.

Yes! You do burn calories while you’re asleep

As you can see, of course, you burn calories while sleeping, and it’s possible to enhance this by increasing muscle mass. But to do this, you need to establish an appropriate training routine and stick to the right diet.

Sleep is one of the most important parts of the day as it prepares the body for the day to come. At the same time, it makes sure that any damaged tissues are repaired. This is particularly important if you’re an active athlete.

The good news is that it’s possible to improve the quality of your sleep through your diet, which in turn, makes this process much more effective.

If you’re not sure how to gain muscle mass or want to use your diet to improve the quality of your sleep, seek out a dietitian. After all, a healthy diet is a basis for good overall body health, whatever your goals are.

  • Picolo MF., Lago AF., Menegueti MG., Nicolini EA., et al., Harris Benedict equation and resting energy expenditure estimates in critically ILL ventilator patients. Am J Crit Care, 2016.
  • Moghetti P., Bacchi E., Brangani C., Dona S., et al., Metabolic effects of exercise. Front Horm Res, 2016. 47: 44-57.