Sleep and Weight Loss

While asleep our meta­bol­ic rate increases such that we lose more than three times the amount of weight than if we are awake (awake but lying dormant, of course): 1.9g/min com­pared to 0.6g/min.

This increase in ‘cal­or­ic expendit­ure’ is not yet fully under­stood, but there are a num­ber of reas­ons why we may lose more weight while asleep than awake:

We know that in rap­id eye sleep (REM), in which we spend roughly 25% of our total sleep time, the brain’s meta­bol­ic rate (the rate at which it con­sumes energy) is very high, even more than while awake. And while one’s body tem­per­at­ure drops while sleep­ing, dur­ing REM it increases, and this too may cause increased cal­or­ic expendit­ure.

This is in addi­tion to “changes in the hor­mones which gov­ern hun­ger and sati­ety, lept­in and ghrelin”.

2 thoughts on “Sleep and Weight Loss

  1. Zack

    That’s inter­est­ing… When I was in High School I was a wrest­ler, and mak­ing weight was always a con­cern. We all knew – and it was a tested fact – that we lost weight in our sleep. We called it “float­ing.” Depend­ing on your weight, it was gen­er­ally about 2% of your body weight. No one – like the team phys­i­cian – ever explained why we floated off so much weight at night, but it was cer­tainly a giv­en.

  2. Lloyd Morgan Post author

    I only par­tially fol­low top­ics of health and fit­ness so had nev­er heard of this. It’s great to know that it’s ‘accep­ted’ know­ledge (if not ‘proven’) among those with a bit more expert­ise.

    Thanks, Zack.

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