Do You Lose Weight When You Sleep: How Much Can You Lose?

A good night’s sleep is essential for your overall health and well-being. While you sleep, your body works hard to support vital functions like energy regulation, immune system recovery, muscle repair, and memory consolidation. Health experts have also linked it to weight management. 

woman sleeping trying to lose weight

Do you lose weight when you sleep? The short answer is yes. As you sleep, your body loses significant water through sweat and breathing. This facilitates weight loss. Moreover, you also burn calories while you sleep, not forgetting good sleep patterns help balance the hormones involved in metabolism regulation. 

However, it’s the water loss that has a huge effect on your weight. What other ways can you lose weight when you sleep?

How Do You Lose Weight When You Sleep?

Water loss during breathing and sweating while you sleep is the first contributor to weight loss, hormone balance, and calorie burn also play their part. 

Getting enough quality sleep is essential for health and well-being. However, many people struggle to clock in the recommended 7 to 9 hours per night. An emerging area of research explores the link between sleep duration, sleep quality, and weight regulation. 

Several studies suggest poor sleep habits may contribute to weight gain and obesity through various mechanisms in the body and brain. Others show proper sleep patterns have significant results in supporting weight loss. Also read here; Is Eating Less Food A Good Way To Lose Weight?

Here are some possible ways you can lose weight while you’re sleep.

  • Water Loss

Water loss is The most significant factor contributing to weight loss while sleeping. As you sleep, your body constantly releases water through respiration, sweating, and urination.

Averagely, people lose between 0.5 to 1 liter of water while sleeping overnight. This water loss can account for up to 2 pounds of temporary weight fluctuations you often see on the scale in the mornings. 

However, most of this water weight is regained throughout the day by rehydrating. Therefore, the water loss from sleep typically does not lead to significant long-term weight loss.

  • Metabolism and Calorie Burn

Your metabolic rate and calorie burn decrease slightly while you sleep since your body is at rest. While essential functions continue and require some calories, overall, your energy expenditure is lower. Read Here: Do You Lose Weight When You Poop?

Health experts estimate that only 7-11% of daily calories are burned during sleep. Even throughout an 8-hour night, this amounts to around 70 to 100 calories burned.

However, while every calorie counts, the amount lost during sleep might not be enough to promote substantial weight loss.

  • Hormonal Changes

Lack of adequate sleep has been linked to hormonal imbalances that promote weight gain. Not getting enough sleep can raise hormone ghrelin levels, which increases appetite and food cravings. 

It can also lower the satiety hormone leptin levels, making you feel less full. These hormonal changes, particularly increased cravings for sugary and fatty foods, can lead to overeating and weight gain over time. Also read: Can You Really Lose Weight By Shaking Your Belly?

However, sleeping enough hours helps regulate these hunger hormones, supporting weight loss efforts.

How Much Weight Is Lost During Sleep?

Now that you know you can lose weight while you sleep, how much do you shed? Here is a breakdown. 

  • Weight Loss From Sweating During Sleep

On average, people sweat about 25 ml per hour while sleeping under normal conditions. For an 8-hour sleep, this amounts to around 200 ml of sweat, which equates to roughly 200 grams (0.2 kg) of weight loss. 

Factors like high room temperature, intense exercise before bed, and medical conditions can cause excessive sweating and subsequent higher weight loss.

Vigorous sweating that requires changing sheets could drop an individual’s weight by up to 1 to 2 kg overnight. However, any weight lost through sweating is temporary and returns once the body rehydrates.

  • Weight Loss From Urinating During Sleep

The average adult produces between 0.5 to 1 ml of urine per kg of body weight per hour while sleeping. For a 70 kg adult sleeping 8 hours, this amounts to 280 to 560 ml of urine and a weight loss of up to 0.5 kg. [Read: What Is The New Ice Hack To Lose Weight Fast?]

Emptying the bladder before weighing oneself in the morning could lead to the scale registering up to 0.5 kg less than the previous night’s weight. Like sweat-induced weight loss, any loss from urinating returns after rehydration.

People typically lose between 0.2 to 0.5 kg of weight while sleeping due to sweating and urinating. However, excessive sweating from high temperatures, medical conditions, or exercise can cause weight loss of up to 1 to 2 kg overnight.

Nonetheless, this weight fluctuation is only transient and comes back as the body replenishes fluids through drinking.

Should Sleep Patterns Be Targeted In Weight Loss Programs?

Monitoring and improving sleep patterns may help with weight loss efforts. According to a study published in Nature and Science of Sleep, individuals with irregular sleep patterns or short sleep durations lost less weight during a weight loss program compared study published in Nature and Science of Sleep to those with adequate and regular sleep. 

The researchers recommend that future weight loss interventions should promote adequate sleep and a regular sleep pattern to help with weight loss results. 

Improving sleep hygiene and aiming for 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night may support weight loss. So incorporating sleep improvement strategies and guidance into weight loss programs may enhance their effectiveness.

Is There A Long-Term Correlation Between Weight Loss And Sleep?

While you lose a small amount of weight through water loss and metabolic processes while sleeping, sleep also has a substantial long-term impact on weight loss and weight management.

There is a strong correlation between inadequate sleep and higher body mass index. Multiple studies have found that people who sleep less than 7 to 8 hours per night consistently tend to have higher rates of obesity compared to those who sleep more. This is likely due to the impact of sleep loss on the hunger hormones ghrelin and leptin, which influence appetite.

With insufficient sleep, levels of the hormone ghrelin (which stimulates hunger) tend to increase, while levels of leptin (which suppresses hunger) tend to decrease. This can lead to eating more calories and making unhealthy food choices.

The amount and quality of your sleep can also impact your ability to exercise and be physically active, which are critical factors in weight loss. Sleep deprivation impairs physical performance and tolerance for exercise. 

It’s likely due to changes in metabolic hormones and increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol. People who are sleep deprived tend to exercise less frequently and for shorter durations.

How Can I Tell If I’m Getting Enough Sleep?

Getting the right amount of sleep is essential for physical and mental health. Follow these tips to determine if you’re meeting your body’s sleep needs.

  • How Do You Feel When You Wake Up?

The most apparent indicator is how you feel when your alarm goes off in the morning. If you struggle to get out of bed and feel exhausted or sleepy throughout the morning, it likely means you need more sleep. In contrast, if you wake up feeling refreshed and alert, it suggests you’re sleeping adequately.

  • Your Energy Levels During the Day

Another indicator is how quickly your energy levels drop during the day. If you find yourself easily exhausted, struggling to focus, or relying on caffeine to stay alert, you’re likely not getting enough deep, restorative sleep. When you’re well rested, you should be able to remain energized throughout most of your waking hours.

  • Your Concentration and Memory

Your cognitive functioning can also reveal how much sleep you need. Difficulty concentrating, being easily distracted, fidgeting, or struggling to recall details or memories may mean your brain isn’t getting adequate restorative sleep. With enough sleep, your memory and concentration should be sharp.

Additional Factors

Other signs you may need to be sleeping more include:

  • Taking a long time to fall asleep.
  • Waking up frequently during the night.
  • Experiencing sleepiness in the afternoon.

Together, these symptoms indicate your body may have a “sleep debt” that more nightly sleep could help repay.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does Lack of Sleep Cause Weight Gain?

Long-term sleep deprivation has been linked to slower metabolism and weight gain over time.

What Should I Do Before Bed To Lose Weight?

You can support weight loss by avoiding eating a large meal within 2-3 hours of sleep, staying hydrated, and going to bed simultaneously every night to establish a healthy sleep schedule.

Does Light Sleep Cause Weight Gain?

Studies show that disrupted or light sleep can disrupt hormone levels and metabolic function, which may contribute to difficulty losing weight or weight gain over time. However, other factors also play a role.

Conclusion

A good night’s sleep is fundamental to overall health and weight management. While you sleep, your body loses water through sweat and respiration, contributing to weight loss. Additionally, proper sleep patterns help balance the hormones involved in metabolism regulation, and calorie burn is reduced while the body is at rest.

However, inadequate sleep has long-term impacts on weight gain and obesity, and targeting sleep patterns in weight-loss programs may enhance their effectiveness. Therefore, getting enough quality sleep is crucial for successful weight loss.

Vanessa Roberts
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