Sleep To Your Health Previous Articles
June 4th, 2011
Cooking Calories While You Sleep
Have you ever wondered how many calories your body burns while you sleep? During sleep, an average individual burns the equivalent of 77 calories per hour. 20% of the time you’re sleeping (90 minutes), you’re dreaming which means you’re spending roughly 115 calories in dreamland (e.g. the rough equivalent of running .8 miles). Generally, a 160 pound individual will burn roughly 549 calories over 8 hours of sleep. A pound of muscle burns about 6 calories at rest, and a pound of fat burns 2 calories. Clearly, those people with more muscle are at an advantage for cooking a few more calories than the average guy while they get their nightly shuteye. Just another argument for staying physically active!
The quantity as well as quality of your sleep directly also influences weight loss. A lot of focus has been on the appetite hormones leptin and ghrelin. These two hormones are the reason why after a bad night’s sleep nothing you eat seems to fill or satisfy you. Ghrelin, produced in the GI tract, stimulates appetite while leptin, produced by fat cells, is supposed to send a signal to your brain that you’re full. Clearly, many factors influence the secretion and regulation of these hormones including genetics, stress and lifestyle. When you don’t get enough sleep, and/or it’s poor quality sleep, ghrelin levels skyrocket and leptin’s plummets. Appetite is out of control and here comes overeating. Other studies showed that the less sleep you get, the more body fat you carry.
The bottom line is you want to do everything you possibly can to get 7-8 hours of sleep every night. Optimizing the quality of sleep means creating a sleep-friendly atmosphere (e.g. no laptops, don’t watch a horror show or getting into a shouting match with your better half before hitting the sack). Try to get on a regular schedule of going to bed at a specific reasonable hour. Do sleep inducing activities before going to bed – read a book, meditate, cuddle with your partner, listen to relaxing music. Finally, remember that your goal is to let your body’s natural and powerful chemistry work for you. Don’t confuse your hormones with a crazy sleep schedule. Team up with your body for the best win win situation.
(From the article, "Cooking Calories While You Sleep")