Calories burned sleeping are by the fat the best calories burned!!
All you need to do is go to sleep and when you wake in the morning you’ve already burnt around 500 calories more than you’ve consumed so far that day. In this article we’ll try to give you an idea of how many calories you burn while asleep.
Calories Burned Sleeping in Context
In some previous work here on FitFolk I looked at estimates for the calories burnt during an 8 hour shift of work. To provide some context for the energy used in an 8 hour shift of work I also included the typical calories burned sleeping. Here’s how it looked:
You can see that based on typical resting metabolic rates eight hours of sleep equates to burning roughly 440 calories for a woman and 570 calories for a man. But these are just averages.
The best way to consider the variation is to get a better understanding of metabolic rates vary at rest.
Why Calories Burned Sleeping Vary
I could easily leave this piece at a rough ‘calories burned sleeping are 450 for women and 550 for men’. But that’s a little sloppy.
The easiest way to get your head around calories burned sleeping is to look at the data we have on basal metabolic rates. You basal metabolic rate is roughly 5% higher than how much energy you use sleeping. It’s typically measured over a 24 hour period, so dividing it in three gives a good estimate of what an hour hour sleep burns.
Here are a sample of female BMRs.
You can see most women are in the 1,200-1,600 calorie range. I’ve graphed the metabolic rates against weight here because its a better predictor of BMR than other variables like age and height.
For men the average American’s resting metabolis is about 1,800 calories a day.
You can see most men are in the 1,600-2,000 calorie range. Again I’ve graphed the metabolic rates against weight as it tells a story. The orange line of best fit showing how BMR increases with weight among men too.
The variation in peoples BMRs is explained by differences in height, age and genetics.
Calories Burned Sleeping
Let’s wrap this up by putting things in context.
- an average woman burns 440 calories sleeping each day
- an average man burns 570 calories sleeping each day
- most women burn 370-510 calories per day sleeping
- most men use 500-640 calories per day sleeping
The variation in calories burned sleeping is largely a function of organ size, muscle volume and genetics. The best way to increase the calories you burn sleeping is heavy lifting or intervals.