Why sleeping more could help you lose weight

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Calories are what keeps your body operating, but eating too many can cause weight gain. One way to burn calories is by exercising, but did you know your body burns calories while you are resting and sleeping? Express.co.uk explains why sleeping more could help you lose weight.

According to the Sleep Council, a good night’s sleep is essential in keeping the inches off your waistline.

This is true for two reasons- the first being having more energy strengthens your willpower to eat better and move more.

The second is because the body is still working while you’re resting and you actually burn calories while you sleep.

The site explains: “Simply getting a good night’s sleep can help burn extra calories.”

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Sleep is necessary for your body to repair cells and tissues and restore function to our immune system and brain.

While our bodies do this, we are also burning lots of calories.

The Sleep Doctor, Dr Michael Breus states a 10.7 stone (150-pound) person burns the equivalent of a 40-minute stint on a treadmill when they sleep for seven hours.

A number of factors determine how many calories you burn a night, including your weight, height and how long you sleep for.

Fitness watches normally figure your Basal Metabolic Rate (the number of calories you burn when you are sedentary) for you, but you could work it out yourself.

For women the formula is:

  • BMR = 655.1 + (4.34 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.68 x age in years)

For men the formula is:

  • BMR = 66.4 + (6.24 x weight in pounds) + (12.71 x height in inches) – (6.78 x age in years)

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If you sleep for eight hours a night, seven days a week, that is about 400 calories a day burnt from sleeping.

If you ate enough calories to keep you in a deficit, you would lose weight.

This is where you are eating less than you are burning and would be easier if you are exercising on top of getting a full night’s sleep.

Studies have shown people who sleep more tend to weigh less.

Research from a Stanford University study found people who sleep less than five hours a night gained more weight than those who sleep for seven to eight hours a night.

Sleep Council explains: “Poor sleep leads to raised levels of hunger hormone ghrelin and lower levels of leptin, a hormone that’s linked with satiety.

“With a third of us now sleeping for just five-to-six hours a night, it’s imperative that we start focusing on sleeping better.

“It is a basic and fundamental human requirement and is vitally important for good physical, mental and emotional health as well as crucial for memory, learning and growth.”

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