How to Lose Weight in your Sleep

sleeping girl

The amount of weight you lose during sleep depends on your body’s metabolism rate and the amount of physical activity you’ve performed during the daytime.


Rapid eye movement (REM) increases your metabolic rate, says a study conducted by Walter Moraes, M.D., of Universidad Federal Sao Paolo, Brazil in 2009.  So the longer you sleep, the more will be the number of calories that you lose. If you want to lose weight while sleeping, start indulging in higher intensity workouts to boost your metabolism.

Here are some tips to increase your metabolism affecting weight loss during sleep.

  • If you are leading a sedentary lifestyle, start with moderate exercises, such as jogging, dancing, cycling and rope jumping. Beginners can work out for ten minutes twice or thrice in a day, suggest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For appropriate metabolism rate, a person must workout at least 150 minutes in a week.
  • After a few days, try to increase the intensity of your exercise. Rather than having small sessions of 10 minutes each, go for a full 30 minutes workout session. But, do remember to perform moderate exercises only.


Now, it time for some high intensity training. Perform exercises such as muscle training or running on treadmill for twice a week. Do not try to push yourself to the brink  and keep in mind that 15 minutes of high-intensity training is worth half an hour of moderate exercising.

  • Eat high-protein diet and refrain from consuming fat-rich food. Break your meal into four to five small meals in a day to boost your metabolism.
  • Bid farewell to stress and perform yoga and meditation for a peaceful state of mind.

Besides boosting your metabolism, it is important to ensure a sound and peaceful sleep to shed extra pounds. Lying awake in the bed won’t really help your cause. Your body tends to lose 1.9 grams of calories every one minute you sleep whereas, being awake, you will lose only 0.6 grams of calories.

Getting at least eight hours of sleep is another important consideration to burn calories while sleeping. Studies have shown that people who stay awake at night or sleep for a fewer number of hours tend to weigh more.  Also, it is important to pay heed to your sleeping schedule. Go off to bed early at a same time everyday to ensure that you complete at least seven hours of sleep in a day.

couples sleeping in bed


Why Do You Lose Weight When you are Asleep?

It is a fact that most people weigh their lightest early in the morning, and you can find out the weight that’s been depreciated by weighing yourself at night and then in the morning. But, the obvious question the remains are, how and why do you lose weight? So, don’t be surprised to  see that you’re weighing lesser than what you did the night before

Fluid Levels in Your Body Affect Body Weight

You will be surprised to note that the main cause for weight loss is the fluid levels of your body. The excess fluid that you had taken in throughout the day has accumulated in the body and moves from your cells into the bloodstream. It then makes its way from there to the kidneys. Hence, you wake up to nature’s call the next morning and urinate.. This contributes to weight loss in a big way, and if you weigh yourself you will find your weight has gone down from what it was the other night.

The Connection between Sleep and Obesity

It has been noted that getting a good night’s sleep can help you to prevent obesity, because sleep deprivation may lead you to exhaustion, you feel hungrier and so you end up eating everything you can lay your hands on. A study at the American Heart Association’s scientific sessions in Atlanta found that adults who were sleep-deprived ate an average of 300 more calories per day, and that too from saturated fat. It has been said that most adults require at least 8 hours of sleep in a day, but this could vary from person to person. So, make it a routine to sleep early and wake up only after eight or nine hours of sleep.

Sleeping is a fundamental human need, even when you may think how good it would be if you could just stay awake, we could have lived much more. But, how much is that living worth, one that is allied with a weak health and obese self.

sleeping beautiful girl

How Much Weight Do We Lose While Sleeping?

A study at the Universidad Federal Sao Paolo assessed 14 healthy men who were confined to a bed with a built-in scale for 16 hours. The subjects didn’t urinate or defecate during the assessment period and were found to have lost 2 pounds (1.9 grams per minute) over eight hours of sleep for a week. Moreover, men lost 0.6 g per minute even when they were resting awake in bed.

Does Lack of Sleep Cause Weight Gain?

Recent studies have developed strong correlations between your daily sleep routine and the trend of gaining weight. Therefore, does lack of sleep cause weight gain? Well, reportedly, yes. Apart from the fact that a restful nocturnal sleep of 7 to 8 hours is always advised for maintaining good health and keeping cardiac problems at bay, it also helps in maintaining a healthy weight. Self deprivation or disruption in sleep can have a strong impact on your metabolic rates, your general appetite and the way your energy is being spent. All of these have a significant role to play in weight regulation, but, how does lack of sleep cause weight gain, after-all?

How Does Lack of Sleep Cause Weight Gain?

1. The primary correlation between sleep deprivation and weight gain is on account of hormonal imbalances created in body. Our appetite is primarily governed by two hormones: Leptin and Ghrelin. Leptin is a hormone produced by the fat cells of the body. It tells our brain to stop eating on attaining satiety. Ghrelin is a hormone produced by the stomach and instructs the body to continue eating. For people, who sleep for less than five hours a day, there is a 15% fall in the production of Leptin and a 15% rise in the production of Ghrelin. Therefore, people, who are sleep deprived, are more likely to continue eating throughout the day that those, who have enough sleep. Overeating will subsequently, lead to unutilised calories accumulating as body fat.

2. Studies reveal that almost 60 to 65% of the total calories burnt during the course of the day get burnt while sleeping. The remaining 30 to 35% get burnt during other regular activities when you are awake. Therefore, if you get less sleep, your body is likely to burn fewer calories compared with those getting enough of sleep. It will ultimately result in weight gain over a period of time.

Lack of enough sleep can also be a precursor to chronic build up of stress. When you sleep less, your mind rests less and continues to remain worked up all the time. This leads to stressful situations for your system thereby, triggering the release of stress hormones. These stress hormones are known to be responsible for slowing down the pace of metabolism in the body thereby, leading to weight gain.

Sleep deprivation can not only lead to weight gain but also contribute to serious disorders such as hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular complications and so on. If you are suffering from sleep apnea, which is a chronic condition related to sleep deprivation, it’s time to seek medical intervention.

girl sleeping

[sws_green_box box_size=”600″] Article by,

Dr. NS Rajesh Kumar, BHMS, CFN MSc (DFSM)
Homeopathic medical officer in Holistic Medicine & Stress Research Institute, Medical College, Trivandrum.

Email : [email protected][/sws_green_box]


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