Lose Weight While You Sleep: Myth or Fact?
NOTE: I was first inspired to do my research into this topic when I heard about the Resurge supplement. For those who are unaware, it’s a VERY popular weight loss pill that’s going viral recently, primarily because of its focus on losing weight overnight – as you sleep. We at PushPedalCrank already did a review of the pills if you want to read and learn more about it, but I wanted to focus on the science of sleep and weight loss, and how it’s all connected.
So let’s take a sleepy journey as we explore the facts and myths of the age-old saying that sleep can help you lose weight.
On average, an adult should always get 8 hours of sleep for energy to last you through the day. While many people assume that sleep leaves you in an inactive state, your body is in fact working hard to repair itself. From cell and tissue restoration to rebooting your immune system and consolidating memories, your body never stops even though you have for the day. In fact, a night of 7-hour sleep is said to help burn over 440 calories in a 150-pound person.
But how does sleep affect your weight gain or weight loss? Let’s take a look.
#1 Misconception: “The weight you’re losing is just water weight.”
When you’re trying to lose weight, a common exercise is to track your weight as the days pass. As such, some people have reported that they weigh less in the morning than in the evening. They may then attribute this to losing water weight overnight and assume that they aren’t losing any real weight along the way. This, however, is a myth as your body is actually working hard to reset itself while you sleep and as a result, it’s working to burn calories. In the long run, you’ll notice that better sleep attributes to weight loss.
How to Lose Weight In Your Sleep
While we aren’t claiming that you’ll lose 10 pounds immediately after a single night’s sleep, you’ll be surprised that consistently getting good rest is key to losing weight. This is as your body creates a certain type of fat known as the brown and beige fats that help burn calories instead of storing them. These brown and beige fats are also known as “thinning fats” and are key in keeping your blood sugar levels regulated and guards your body against obesity.
Another way to help lose weight in your sleep is by ensuring your environment is set comfortable to your shut-eye experience. For instance, sleeping in a cool room may increase the production of brown and beige fats, thus helping your body convert regular weight fats into these calorie-burning fats. Resting in a cool room also boosts sleepiness and helps you fall asleep quicker, allowing you to get ample sleep for the night. Subsequently, sleeping in a cold room also stimulates your body’s metabolism to keep you warm. In other words, cooler environments will trigger your body’s needs to burn more calories to regulate your body temperature.
You may also consider looking at variations of a pill to help lose weight while you sleep. Resurge is a supplement that’s going viral because it’s specifically geared to improve your quality of sleep. Then, there’s also natural ingredients such as melatonin in pills can help boost your metabolism while you’re asleep, resulting in weight loss over time. In some instances, pills that contain low traces of coffee beans can also help control desires to enjoy a late-night supper, so you won’t be prone to snack as often.
How Else Does Sleep Affect Your Weight?
On top of losing weight while you sleep, having adequate rest for the night may also affect your weight gain or weight loss while you’re awake. When you’re well-rested, you’ll find more energy in yourself to do more across the day instead of feeling tired or lazy. Need to squeeze in a gym session to burn extra calories? A well-rested person would definitely be up for the challenge, while tired people who may not have caught enough sleep the night before would give it a skip. This unexpectedly builds up to weight gain across time as compared to when you’re actively moving.
Separately, it’s also been found that your sleep habits can help curb your hunger hormones. When your body isn’t getting sufficient sleep, your brain begins to wire in the need to munch on high-calorie food such as sweet or savory snacks across the day. If you’re looking to reduce such occurrences, a good night’s sleep may just be the answer to help keep your hunger hormones at bay.
How Much Sleep Do You Need to Lose Weight?
So, now that you know how adequate sleep can affect your weight loss, perhaps you’re wondering how much sleep you’ll need to lose weight? According to research, the amount of sleep you’ll need is loosely tied to your age group. Here are the suggested hours of rest for each of the age groups out there:
- Newborn (0 – 3 months): 14 to 17 hours of sleep
- Infant (4 – 12 months): 12 to 16 hours of sleep, including naps
- Toddler (1 – 2 years): 11 to 14 hours of sleep, including naps
- Preschool (3 – 5 years): 10 to 13 hours of sleep, including naps
- School ages (6 – 12 years): 9 to 12 hours of sleep
- Teenagers (13 – 18 years): 8 to 10 hours of sleep
- Adults (18 – 60 years): 7 hours or more of sleep
- Adults (61 – 64 years): 7 to 9 hours of sleep
- Senior citizens (65 years and up): 7 to 8 hours of sleep
On top of helping with weight loss, having enough sleep also ensures you’ll stay healthier in the long run.
In conclusion, you’ll see that adequate sleep in the long run may be key to your weight loss goals. To help yourself fall asleep easier, it’s always best to set up a sleep schedule that you can adhere to daily. Having a set schedule helps your body identify the need to wind down at certain times and you’ll eventually see an improvement in your sleep quality after a while. It’s also recommended to keep blue light exposure to a minimum when you’re going to bed, so you may want to reconsider that habit of swiping through social media right before bedtime. If all else fails, do consider seeking the help of sleep supplements to get a good night’s worth of slumber. You can also turn to supplements to help improve your ease of sleep and your quality of sleep (Resurge is one such supplement, read our review of it here if you’re now more interested in how it can lead to weight loss overnight).
Good luck, and good night!