Have you ever wondered what your body does while you are asleep at night? Activities do not have to be aerobic to burn calories, although the most calories burned are during intense physical activity. During sleep, your body still burns energy, according to the National Sleep Foundation.
The number of calories burned while sleeping really depends on a person’s level of physical fitness, as well as age, sex, weight and metabolism. A person who is overweight and sedentary in terms of lifestyle may not burn as many calories while sleeping as a person who is in tip-top shape. The total amount of calories burned during sleep really varies per person.
The Mayo Clinic offered research through its fitness and sleep studies on both fit and obese individuals to answer the question of how many calories one burns during sleep. The outcome revealed that a female weighing approximately 110 pounds, sleeping seven to eight hours a night, can expect to burn about 315 calories. If a person weighs 150 pounds and is in relatively good shape, they can expect to burn off about 430 calories. The more muscle mass a person has, the more calories they are likely to burn because muscle burns more calories than fat.
Naps also burn a few extra calories. A 120 pound female who naps for one hour will not only wake up recharged and refreshed, but 50 calories lighter. A 175 pound male who takes a one hour nap will wake up burning an estimated 75 calories.
While the number of calories burned during sleep cannot be considered part of your weekly recommended aerobic activity, sleeping is needed for health and body restoration. Studies show that quality sleep of at least seven hours a night is helpful for those trying to lose weight or maintain their current weight.
There are several benefits that come with a restful night’s sleep on a regular basis. Not only does your body burn calories without working too hard, you also receive these benefits from sleeping:
A Healthy Heart
A good night’s sleep seems to be just what the cardiologist ordered as a lack of it has been linked to high blood pressure, increased cholesterol and even stroke. Getting eight hours of sleep is ideal for your heart health.
When sleep deprived, the body goes into a state of stress and preservation. Stress hormones are produced, blood pressure rises and fat is even stored. Finding healthy stress outlets is crucial to your health and vitality.
Cancer studies show that people who work the night shift are at a higher risk for both breast cancer and colon cancer. When a person gets ample rest their immune system is elevated and they are at less of a risk for diseases and conditions.
When sleep is deprived, stress hormones are released in the body, which in turn elevate the levels of inflammation throughout the system. Inflammation can lead to heart disease, cancer and even diabetes.
Alertness and Ability to Think Clearly
Sleep bolsters the alertness factor and ability to think clearly, not to mention improves memory. When a person gets enough rest they are more alert and feel refreshed. According to research studies, a process known as memory consolidation takes place while you sleep and during this time links and memories are made.
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