It seems like an almost magical idea that you can burn fat while you’re sleeping. Most people might think that the most direct way to burn fat is to reduce your calorie intake and do rigorous cardio to burn even more calories than you take in during the day. Is a low-calorie diet and exercise enough to also burn fat while you’re sleeping? Is it even possible to burn fat while you sleep?
People do lose weight during sleep; however, this is mostly due to water loss through breathing and sweating. Most people don’t burn much fat during sleep, but sleep is a fundamental component of well-being, and a lack of sleep can impede your weight loss efforts.
The Difference Between Weight Loss and Fat Loss
Weight loss refers to a decrease in your overall body weight. It is common to lose some weight while sleeping, but it is primarily water weight. Fat loss refers to weight loss that occurs specifically from losses in fat mass. Generically speaking, weight loss is an overall reduction in weight that includes fat, muscle, and water.
What You Do While You’re Awake Affects Your Metabolism While You Sleep
If you’re already putting in the hard work by practicing tight nutrition and staying consistent with your workouts, it makes perfect sense to make the necessary adjustments that will help you burn fat while you’re sleeping.
The first thing to consider is your sleeping pattern. Your sleeping routine has a major impact on your mood as well as your body weight. Sleep is critical for allowing your body to be a fat burner rather than a fat storer.
Here are some important things you can do to sleep your best:
- Increase bright light exposure during the day
- Reduce blue light exposure in the evening, such as computers and phones
- Don’t consume caffeine late in the day
- Don’t eat or drink after 6:30 pm (if you’re getting up to urinate)
- Reduce irregular or long daytime naps
- Sleep and wake at consistent times
- Avoid alcohol close to bedtime (it hinders the body’s ability to burn calories while sleeping)
- Consider taking a supplement like melatonin which helps control your sleep cycle
The ability to get good sleep for 7-8 hours a night will play a significant role in your body’s ability to burn fat while you’re sleeping. There are also additional, proactive things you can do each day to promote your body’s ability to burn fat while you sleep.
1. Strength Training Exercises
Cardio is great to torch calories, but strength training also burns calories. In addition, lifting weight increases your metabolism, which helps you burn fat even when you are at rest. Weight training, especially with heavier weights, is an extremely intense exercise. Throughout a weight training session, your body will require extra oxygen; this continues after the training session. The extra oxygen intake is required by the body to recover from the loss of energy. This effect lasts for more than 24 hours post-workout. That makes weight training incredibly effective for burning fat and calories while you are at rest, either sitting after your workout or burning fat while you sleep.
2. Include a Complex Carb at Dinner
Eating a complex carb at night keeps you fuller for a longer period and you will be less likely to want a snack before bedtime. Also, carbohydrates increase levels of the amino acid tryptophan in the brain, which helps facilitate sleep when it converts to serotonin.
3. The Right Vitamins At Bedtime
Take vitamin B1, vitamin D, and zinc before bed. There are benefits to these specific, daily vitamins that will help you burn fat while you sleep, here’s why:
Vitamin B1 helps the cells in the body convert food to energy. This process cannot work properly if you do not have enough vitamin B1. Taking man-made thiamin helps restore normal levels of vitamin B1 in your body.
Vitamin D is not just regarded for bone health. The presence of vitamin D has various roles apart from calcium and phosphorus metabolism. It can help boost your metabolism, causing your body to burn more calories after eating and while you sleep.
Zinc can play a role in regulating and forming the expression of insulin, and it aids in metabolism and digestion and is critical for the development of immune cells.
4. Try a Protein Shake
Having a protein shake before going to bed may boost your metabolism. Protein is more thermogenic than carbs or fat, which means your body burns more calories while digesting it. You may need to experiment with the number of grams of protein that will be right for you. To start, try half a serving of your favorite protein powder in a small glass of unsweetened almond milk before bed. If you are aiming for a certain number of grams of protein for your day, be sure to consider this addition so that you are meeting your nutritional goals along with triggering your body’s fat-burning state while you sleep.
5. Relax With Breathing Exercises
Deep breathing increases the supply of oxygen in your body, and this extra oxygen helps you burn extra fat. Breathing deeply also helps to improve blood circulation and allows the body to exhale CO2, or the output when you break apart carbon for fuel, which is essentially how fat gets burned.
How to do deep breathing:
- Get comfortable. You can lie on your back in bed or on the floor with a pillow under your head and knees.
- Breathe in through your nose – let your lungs fill with air.
- Breathe out through your nose.
- Place one hand on your belly. As you breathe in, feel your belly rise.
- Take 3 more full, deep breaths.
There are many proactive actions you can take to encourage your body to burn fat while you sleep. The primary factors are focusing on healthy sleep patterns, proper nutrition (vitamins and minerals), and the right kinds of exercises at the right times of the day. Doing these things consistently over time will give your body the best opportunity to shed the fat that it does not need and cultivate the muscle that is critical to your long-term health.