You usually associate burning calories with a trip to the gym of other aerobic exercise but our bodies are burning calories around the clock…even when we are asleep!
For example boffins found that someone weighing 9 stone and getting roughly 8 hours sleep can burn between 266 and 342 calories!
Whilst we are sleeping our body is still consuming energy which is particularly high during Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep. During REM sleep your brain is highly active and you burn glucose. Your heart rate and blood pressure also rise which burns more calories.
Also, while we are sleeping our body is busy repairing any damage done to our cells during our waking hours. For example, if you exercise in the day, your muscles will recover and repair themselves at night. Our bodies also continue to digest food which also uses energy.
So how many calories will you burn when sleeping? Boffins suggest his depends on several factors, including your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), which determines the amount of energy your body needs to maintain its most basic functions, e.g. breathing, blood circulation and keeping your organs running. How much you weigh also affects how much energy you use and the amount of sleep you are getting will also influence calories burned.
So some good news that simply getting a good night’s sleep can help burn extra calories – however that doesn’t mean you should sleep all day!