While quietly sleeping someone who weighs 150 will burn at least 95 calories per hour, and if you weight 115 you will burn 42 calories in that same hour. Calories burned during sleep are used to sustain vital functions in the body. Monitoring and maintaining your internal temperature, repairing cells and pumping blood are some of the nighttime activities that your body naturally does. If you eat food in the evenings it is digested the same exact way food eaten during the day is digested. Digestion takes calories and does continue all night. If, however you eat a large meal just before bed or even a few hours before and this meal includes fatty and spicy foods you may be up all night with heartburn and excess energy.
You burn more calories when you are in a deep sleep than when you are just lying reading in bed or tossing and turning. Nighttime calorie burn is dependent on REM or rapid eye movement sleep. When you are in REM sleep your brain is highly active; sometimes more active than when you are awake. Food is fuel and you need fuel for thoughts. Body fuel or glucose is the basic ingredient in most foods and glucose is continually being manufactured during sleeping hours.
Want to burn more calories when sleeping? Use an alarm or set a sleep pattern. Go to bed at the right and same time each night so you get the proper amounts of good and deep sleep. If you do not experience REM sleep, you are not sleeping deeply enough to burn optimum calories. Avoid using the snooze button on your alarm clock; this tends to interrupt those last few minutes of REM sleep. Some great ideas to get the proper amounts of sleep at night include: if you do feel drowsy in the middle of the day; take a power nap. Make sure you stop drinking alcohol three hours before your bed time. It is a known fact that alcohol can help you fall asleep, but it will stop the deep REM sleep that helps you burn calories and avoid sleep deprivation. You need to stop exercising at least four hours before bedtime, but if you feel the need to exercise just before bed, you night want to consider yoga and deep breathing.
Sleep is the key that affects weight loss. Your ability to burn calories plus the food choices you make all contribute to nighttime calorie burning. Follow a few simple tips and you may find that you are actually losing weight.