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Have you ever wondered how many calories your body burns while you sleep? An interesting topic to think about, you have to admit. Although many would say that the body does not need energy at all while we sleep, the truth is quite the opposite. Our body burns calories even in sleep because our metabolism never takes a break.

Besides, our body performs various body functions 24 hours a day, and all of them require energy. How many calories the body will consume depends on various factors, which include the length of your sleep, diet, physical activity, and others. Let’s talk a little more about this fun topic.

How many calories exactly my body burns while I sleep?

If we want to make a rough estimate, we can say that while we sleep, we burn about 50 calories in one hour. Of course, this number varies from one person to another, depending on individual factors. In case you are wondering how this is even possible, it is time to mention one thing called basal metabolism. Basal metabolism is the metabolism that refers to all those processes in the body that occur when we are at rest. In other words, basal metabolism includes calories our body burns when we’re not spending energy on additional activities, but only on the functioning of the body. These processes include respiration, circulation, cell growth and repair, regulation of body temperature, and other processes that are vital for our body.

An interesting fact is that about twenty percent of the calories consumed are spent on the functioning of the brain in a state of complete rest. Also, basal metabolism does not require the same amount of energy (or calories) during the day and while we sleep. When we are asleep, all processes in our body slow down, so it requires less energy to function. Mindblowing, right?

Factors that affect the amount of energy that the body burns during sleep

Many individual factors can affect the rate of basal metabolism and therefore how many calories we burn while sleeping. Some of them are:

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  • Age
  • Weight and height (the taller and heavier you are, you burn more calories at night)
  • Whether you work out regularly or not (people that exercise burn more calories, even while they’re asleep)
  • Quality of sleep (if you have a poor sleep quality, it can decrease your metabolism)
  • Genetics, etc.

As you can notice, you can influence many of these factors and increase or decrease the number of calories you burn, depending on what your goal is. For example, you can try to improve the quality of your sleep in various ways and positively affect your metabolism. According to, sleeping with earplugs can help you get some better night sleep and positively influence your health. Find the solution that works for you and don’t give up on it.

How to optimize my metabolism?

Incorporate exercise into your daily routine

People who exercise have more muscle mass compared to body fat, so they burn more calories even when they sleep. Strength training can be a very good choice, but if you like cardio, it can also be helpful. The most important thing is to find an activity that you love and that you will be able to stick to in the long run. A little tip: do not work out just before bedtime because you may have trouble falling asleep.

Take care of your food choices before bed

Although the time of the meal is not so crucial for metabolism, food choices are. If you eat unhealthy fast food before going to bed, which is not pleasant for your body, it will definitely affect the quality of your sleep, and thus your metabolism. Avoid fatty foods and processed sugars just before going to bed. Always choose light foods that will not be a burden on the stomach and from which you will not be thirsty all night.

Make your room a comfortable place to sleep

You already know how important it is for the room where you sleep to be the perfect place to rest. If our body does not get enough quality sleep during the night, it will certainly affect our metabolism in the long run. Make sure that the room is completely dark, ventilated and that it is neither too hot nor too cold. Take all electronic devices out of the room if you can, and if you really need the phone, then put it away from your head. Turn off the music and other sound sources, so as not to disturb you while you sleep. All these little things will make you sleep better and have a positive effect on your metabolism.

Optimal body weight is important

Obesity leads to a slowdown in metabolism, just as a slowdown in metabolism leads to obesity. Obese people generally have trouble sleeping because they tend to develop obstructive sleep apnea. This is a sleep disorder that occurs when people have interruptions in breathing, due to obesity. In people with this condition, there is a clearly visible link between sleep quality and metabolism. If you want to increase the number of calories you burn during the night, try to get rid of extra pounds. Proper nutrition and regular physical activity can certainly help you with that.

Relaxation is a must

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For optimal body function and good sleep quality (and therefore, faster metabolism), it is very important to know how to relax before bed. There are many techniques that can be helpful, and yoga and meditation are just some of them. A warm bath will also do magic. If you enjoy reading, read a few pages of a good book before bed or take a walk. Find out what works for you and what prepares you best for sleep.


If you thought our body didn’t need energy while we slept, you were wrong. It burns calories because our body functions exist even while we are not aware of it. Basal metabolism means the amount of energy that is expended while we are at rest. If we want to increase its rate, we need to take into account our diet, train regularly and positively affect the quality of our sleep.