As you may know, you don’t need to work out to burn calories.
It’s effective, but technically, we burn calories also sleeping, standing, or even sitting and “doing nothing”.
Here’s how many calories you can burn while sleeping:
Important note: don’t sleep more than you need to burn calories.
You may as well lie down or sit while awake – you will burn similar amounts of calories, but you won’t unnecessarily sleep more than you should. Instead, you can, for example, go shopping and burn almost 5 times more calories at the same time as you would while sleeping.
- How many calories can you burn Sleeping?
- How many calories do you burn in 8 hours of sleep?
- How long do you need to sleep to burn 200, 300, or 500 calories?
- How to burn more calories while Sleeping?
- Would you burn more calories sleeping or lying in bed?
- How much should you sleep?
- Calories Burned Sleeping Formula
How many calories can you burn Sleeping?
An average person should burn about 72-95 calories during one hour of sleep.
Here’s a table in which you can see how many calories can be burned by people of different weights, depending on their sleep time:
|160 lbs||180 lbs||200 lbs||220 lbs|
|1 hour||68 kcal||81 kcal||95 kcal||109 kcal|
|2 hours||136 kcal||163 kcal||190 kcal||217 kcal|
|3 hours||204 kcal||244 kcal||285 kcal||326 kcal|
|4 hours||271 kcal||326 kcal||380 kcal||434 kcal|
|5 hours||339 kcal||407 kcal||475 kcal||543 kcal|
|6 hours||407 kcal||489 kcal||570 kcal||652 kcal|
|7 hours||475 kcal||570 kcal||665 kcal||760 kcal|
|8 hours||543 kcal||652 kcal||760 kcal||869 kcal|
How many calories do you burn in 8 hours of sleep?
How many calories you burn while sleeping depends primarily on your weight.
An average person should burn between 543-760 calories during 8 hours of sleep
You can check the approximate number of calories burned in 8 hours of sleep for your weight in the calculator at the top of this article, or in this table:
|140 lbs||507 kcal|
|150 lbs||543 kcal|
|160 lbs||579 kcal|
|170 lbs||615 kcal|
|180 lbs||652 kcal|
|190 lbs||688 kcal|
|200 lbs||724 kcal|
|210 lbs||760 kcal|
|220 lbs||796 kcal|
|230 lbs||833 kcal|
|240 lbs||869 kcal|
How long do you need to sleep to burn 200, 300, or 500 calories?
An average person weighing 180 lbs (81.65 kg) should sleep:
- 1 hour and 14 minutes to burn 100 calories
- 2 hours and 27 minutes to burn 200 calories
- 3 hours and 41 minutes to burn 300 calories
- 4 hours and 55 minutes to burn 400 calories
- 6 hours and 8 minutes to burn 500 calories
- 7 hours and 22 minutes to burn 600 calories
- 8 hours and 36 minutes to burn 700 calories
Most people should sleep between 7-9 hours (1).
Read more: How much should you sleep?
Here is a simple calculator that will allow you to calculate how much you should sleep to burn the specified amount of calories:
How to burn more calories while Sleeping?
1. Get enough sleep but don’t sleep more than you need
You should always get enough sleep.
However, some people may think that since we burn a decent amount of calories while sleeping, they could try to sleep more to easily speed up their weight loss.
This is understandable, but sleeping for example 4 hours more than you should (e.g. 12 instead of 8) is not necessarily a good idea.
You can burn similar or even more calories just by lying down, sitting, or standing while awake, not to mention low-demanding physical activities such as walking, which can burn up to 3 times more calories than sleeping.
2. Do some cardio
I don’t recommend you to exercise just before going to bed, but you can make a workout a few hours before. It may help you boost your metabolism.
You don’t have to train very hard, but it’s good to train quite intensively. You can use a popular HIIT training plan or use a stationary bike or treadmill with relatively high intensity (depending on your physical abilities).
A good cardio done a few hours before going to bed should help you burn more calories not only during the exercises but also when you go to sleep (2).
3. Turn off the lights
It is good to sleep in a room that is as dark as possible. While sleeping, you should avoid all unnecessary forms of lighting.
That’s why, during sleep time, you should:
- Turn off all screens or at least reduce the brightness (TVs, computer monitors)
- Turn off any lightning. If you don’t want to do that, just try to reduce the intensity of lights to as low as possible, or consider buying a night light with a timer that turns itself off after a certain time.
Don’t want to turn the light off? A few years ago, I couldn’t imagine sleeping in a dark room either, but I gradually reduced the intensity of the light and eventually got to the point where I stopped using it altogether.
Today I sleep in complete darkness, which allows me to fall asleep easier and sleep even better.
Honestly? I can’t imagine falling asleep with a night light on anymore.
4. Eat smaller dinners
You shouldn’t go to bed completely hungry, but it is worth not eating right before falling asleep.
Also, it’s good to eat relatively small dinners. Instead, you can focus on bigger breakfasts.
Falling asleep right after eating a meal can not only be harder and make the quality of sleep worse but also can lead to burning fewer calories during sleep (5).
5. Eat enough protein
Eating enough protein can improve the metabolism, also when we sleep.
Here’s how much protein an adult should eat daily (6):
- 0.36 g per pound (0.8 g per 1 kg) of body weight for adults with minimal physical activity
Or to facilitate muscle growth and strength improvement:
- 0.45 g per pound (1 g per 1 kg) of body weight for adults with minimal physical activity
- 0.59 g per pound (1.3 g per 1 kg) of body weight for adults with moderate physical activity
- 0.73 g per pound (1.6 g per 1 kg) of body weight for adults with intense physical activity
However, we should not exceed the value of 0.91 g protein per pound (2 g per kg) of body weight in the long term.
Would you burn more calories sleeping or lying in bed?
According to MET values of 0.95 and 1.3, lying in bed while awake burns almost 37% more calories than sleeping.
This means, during one hour, a 180 lbs person should burn about:
- 81 calories sleeping in bed
- or 111 calories lying awake in bed
However, remember that the correct amount of sleep is needed to maintain health and proper metabolism. So you shouldn’t sleep less than you need just to burn more calories, e.g. while lying in bed.
How much should you sleep?
We should sleep enough to get up feeling good, but also not tired from having too much sleep.
Here are some recommendations from the National Sleep Foundation:
|Age||Recommended Sleep Duration|
|0-3 months||14-17 hours|
|4-11 months||12-15 hours|
|1-2 years||11-14 hours|
|3-5 years||10-13 hours|
|6-13 years||9-11 hours|
|14-17 years||8-10 hours|
|18-65 years||7-9 hours|
|+65 years||7-8 hours|
Personally, as an adult, I find about 7 hours and 45 minutes of sleep perfect for me.
If you use an alarm clock, I recommend that you set it so that you wake up naturally before it rings.
This should make it easier for you to get the right amount of sleep. For example, these days, I usually go to bed at 10:00 PM and set my alarm for 6:30 AM. In most days I wake up on my own between 5:30 AM – 6:00 AM, but just in case I overslept, the alarm clock will ring later anyway and help me get up for work.
Calories Burned Sleeping Formula
To calculate the calories burned sleeping:
Multiply time in minutes by MET (0.95), multiply it by 3.5, and multiply the result by weight in kilograms. After all of that, divide the number by 200.
To calculate the weight in kilograms, divide the weight in pounds by 0.45359237.
Question: A person weighing 160 lbs was sleeping for 8 hours. How many calories did they burn?
First, let’s convert the units:
Weight = 160 lbs ≈ 72.57 kg
Time in minutes = 8 hours = 480 minutes
Now we can easily calculate the result:
CB = 480 × 0.95 × 3.5 × 72.57 / 200
CB = 115821.72 / 200
CB ≈ 579.11
Answer: A person weighing 160 lbs burned about 579.11 calories during 8 hours of sleep.