Yes, you read it right, we burn calories even while we are resting or sleeping. The human body requires constant energy supply to maintain essential body functions that keep us alive while we are sleep. Well, metabolism is the process by which the body converts food into energy to carry out different tasks in our bodies.
Our bodies work continuously to maintain vital functions like temperature, the heart pumping out blood to supply all parts of the body, breathing, cellular growth, repair and brain functions even while we are sleeping. The process of metabolism that happens at rest is referred to as basal metabolism. According to studies, basal metabolism accounts for nearly eighty percent of the total energy expenditure. The remaining burned calories are due to exercise or any other physical activity we do when we are awake. Whether you are sleeping or not, your body loses calories due to basal metabolism.
Calculating Basal metabolism
Basal metabolism depends on various factors, thus making it is difficult to calculate the actual number of calories burned during sleep. However, it can be approximately estimated by calculating the basal metabolic rate (BMR). Basal metabolic rate, on the other hand, is a number of calories burned in a day at rest. BMR depends on several factors like gender, age, weight, height, and genetic factors. It is possible to estimate BMR using the Harris-Benedict equation, which takes into account all the factors that influence the basal metabolism.
For females, 665.1+ (4.34×weight in pounds) + (4.7×height in inches) - (4.68×age in years)
For males, 66.47 + (6.24×weight in pounds) + (12.71×height in inches) - (6.78×age in years)
Men burn more calories than women at rest as they have higher muscle mass. At rest, the muscle burns more calories at a faster rate than fat.
Calories burned during sleep depends on the weight of an individual, his metabolism, and the number of hours he sleeps each night. It is directly proportional to the weight of a person and the duration of sleep. The heavier the person and the longer a person sleeps, the more calories are burned.
To calculate the actual number of calories burned during sleep, use the following equation. A reduction in 15% is because the metabolism slows down by 15% during sleep.
BMR/24 × number of hours of sleep × 0.85
These equations can give you a rough estimate of how many calories you can burn while sleeping. On average, we burn around 500 calories during sleep. But it does not mean that you sleep the whole day to lose your extra weight. Exercise and following a healthy diet are necessary if you are seriously seeking to cut down some pounds. You probably haven’t thought that when you sleep, you also lose some calories. Indeed, it is widely believed that sleeping helps our bodies to rest. While that is true, nobody cares to mention that you also need some energy to keep the metabolic activities of your body functioning optimally. Now, you have learned the effect of sleeping that many people never knew.