Why We Lose Weight When We Sleep | Modius Health

lose weight while you sleep

Believe it or not, it actually IS possible to lose weight while you sleep!


While there are a lot of less than legitimate, unethical, and kind of slimy snake oil salespeople in the weight loss world today promising the moon and the stars when it comes to effortless weight loss solutions, the truth is your body works to melt off weight even while you sleep on autopilot every single night.


You’ve probably noticed this if you ever weighed yourself just before bed and then first thing in the morning.


The difference may not have been overwhelming (it may be tough to build a beach ready body just by sleeping every night and doing nothing else), but the difference is there all the same – and it’s important you understand everything going on under the hood, so to speak.

 why do you lose weight while sleeping

Below we dig a little deeper into weight loss during sleep, how much you can expect to lose while you are sleeping, and what you can do to kind of accelerate the process – and the progress – a little more.


Shall we jump in?


How Much Weight Can We Lose In Our Sleep?


Right out of the gate, it’s important to answer why do you lose weight while sleeping in the first place so that you begin to better understand everything that’s happening (as well as how you can accelerate things going forward).


For starters, your body is ALWAYS working, always consuming energy, and always looking to convert raw materials into fuel just to keep you alive. While it may not look like anyone is doing all that much while they are sleeping on the surface, underneath there are trillions of little things happening all night long just to keep you alive.


All of these bodily systems need fuel to operate, need energy to continue, and require your metabolism to keep burning fat and fuel around the clock so that you can stay alive.


Top of that, your body is constantly going to be running through a tremendous amount of water that you have stored up in your system.


Think about this for a second. A single gallon of water weighs just slightly over 8 pounds, with a 1 L bottle of water weighing just over 2.2 pounds.


Now think about how much water you drink throughout the day (particularly just before bed) and then remember that a lot of that water is going to be used up pretty quickly while you sleep with each and every breath you exhale and every drop of sweat you produce overnight.

 how many calories do you burn when you sleep

Of course, you’re also going to weigh quite a bit less in the morning than you did just before going to bed after you use the bathroom upon waking up. It is maybe the quickest way of them all to lose some water weight in a hurry, and it’s something we do every single morning (multiple times throughout the day, for that matter).


Now that you know everything we shared above you may not be all that surprised to learn just how much weight can you lose in your sleep just by literally sleeping and using the bathroom in the morning.


You can drop more than 2 pounds overnight pretty quickly, especially if you wear yourself in after using the bathroom.


What Calories Do We Burn In Sleep?


Another piece of the puzzle that helps you lose weight while you sleep is the fact that you are constantly burning calories while resting, too.


As we highlighted above, your body has a number of automatic and autopilot systems that are going to be running 24/7 every single day of your life. Each and every one of these systems – breathing, blinking, thinking, circulating blood, digesting, etc. – all require energy and fuel, and that means that calories are being burned even while you are unconscious.


Now, figuring out how many calories do you burn when you sleep is a bit of a trickier question if only because there are ways you can dramatically increase the amount of calories you burn while asleep.


On average night, you’re going to burn the amount of calories that your resting basal metabolic rate consumes over that specific block of time you spent asleep. This figure is different for everyone (and you’ll have to figure out your BMR to understand how many calories you burn while asleep) – but there are ways to ramp this number up.


Lifting heavy weights and exercising consistently (at least five times a week) is an easy way to melt more fat from your body even while unconscious. Because your breaking down your muscle mass, and because your body needs to rebuild the micro tears you’ve caused when exercising, you’ll be consuming more calories, consuming more energy, and increasing your resting metabolic rate all at the same time.


How Many Hours Of Sleep To Start Losing Weight?


While you will be able to lose weight while sleeping regardless of whether or not you sleep for an hour each night or 12 hours at a stretch, the truth the matter is you’ll want to shoot for that “sweet spot” of between seven hours and nine hours to make the most of your overnight weight loss efforts.

 do you burn calories in your sleep

Some experts feel that how many hours of sleep to lose weight sits squarely at eight hours each night (for maximum efficiency), but that isn’t really realistic to try and shoot for exactly 8 hours of sleep day in and day out with how hectic and different our individual days can be.


As long as you are shooting for between seven hours and nine hours (on average) as often as possible you shouldn’t have anything to worry about!