Did you know that there are ways to burn more fat when you sleep? The good news is that it's easy and only requires a little bit of effort on your part to burn more fat overnight. Read on to learn how to burn fat while you sleep.
Table of Contents
Phases of Sleep
During the night, your body goes through different phases of sleep. One of these is called rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, where most dreaming occurs. When you are in REM, your muscles are completely relaxed and paralysis takes over.
This is known as REM atonia. The best way to burn fat while sleeping is when you are in REM sleep because your body uses more calories during this phase of sleep than any other.
Recommended Sleep Position
Sleeping on your back is the recommended position for allowing your body to burn more fat and for better blood circulation throughout the night. If you want to burn fat while you sleep, try to stay on your back as much as possible.
Make sure that your pillow is supporting your neck and not putting too much strain on the front of your throat.
If you don't have a pillow or if you would like a more custom fit, visit a local foam shop for a memory-type pillow that conforms to the shape of your head and neck perfectly.
If you have a bed partner, sleeping on your back can be difficult because your partner may begin to sleep directly on top of you as he or she rolls over during the night.
You can burn more fat while you sleep by placing a pillow under your back and between your legs which should encourage rolling to the side.
Get Enough Sleep- 8 Hours Minimum
Getting enough sleep is important because it's when your body organizes the information you have gathered during the day, but sleep can help you burn fat. Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep per night, but some people may need more or less.
We suggest getting 8 hours at a minimum.
Make sure to go to bed at approximately the same time each night including weekends, which can help regulate your body's clock.
Why does sleep deprivation cause weight gain?
Sleep deprivation causes an increase in hormones that drive you to eat calorie-rich meals. This is why you may crave junk food late at night.
These are also the hormones that make your body burn fat slower, so decreasing the amount of sleep you get can reduce the speed by which your burn calories as well.
Reduce stress by listening to music or reading before bedtime
Reducing stress before bed is key because it can keep you up at night or make it difficult for you to fall asleep. Try listening to music, reading a book, or meditating before bedtime.
Aromatherapy can help relax the body and mind before bedtime as well. Lavender is one of the best essential oils to burn fat while you sleep because it has calming properties that can help you fall asleep more quickly.
If you burn the midnight oil every night, it could reduce your fat burn overnight by up to 54%.
Meditation before bedtime is a great way to burn fat while sleeping because it helps clear your mind, burn off stress and anxiety, and will help you fall asleep faster.
Try meditating for as much as 20 minutes right before bedtime as it can burn up to 70% more fat throughout the night.
Setting The Stage In Your Environment For Better Quality Sleep
Sleep In A Dark Room
Sleeping in a dark room stimulates melatonin production which encourages sleep. Melatonin is a hormone that can help burn fat; it has been shown to increase metabolic rates slightly.
Turn off all lights at least one hour before bedtime, burn more fat while you sleep by turning off the TV, computer monitor, cell phone screen, or any other bright light.
Melatonin is a hormone that controls your body's natural rhythm and encourages sleep.
Your body will burn fat better if it fully understands that it's time to go to sleep and will burn more calories during REM. Make sure your sleeping space is in a dark room to get the most out of this process.
Sleep In A Cooler And Darker Environment
Sleeping in cooler temperatures could help you burn more calories and lose weight overnight.
Cool temperatures also increase the body’s stores of beige and brown fats, the “thinning” fats that burn calories, rather than storing them.
When you burn fat, your body targets both white and brown adipose tissue (fat) to burn.
White fat is the bad stuff that stores calories and makes people overweight.
Brown fat is often referred to as “good” fat because it burns calories rather than storing them, whereas white adipose tissue doesn't burn at all. The more brown fat you burn, the more weight you lose.
People burn more calories when they sleep in a colder, darker environment.
Morning light also sends powerful cues to your brain that help keep your daily biorhythms in sync.
Exposing yourself to morning light, both indoors and out helps keep your body in rhythm, making it easier to fall asleep at night.
Light exposure in the early hours signals that it’s time for your body to wake up, and get ready for the day ahead.
Build More Lean Muscle
Building lean muscle keeps your metabolism high and by having more muscle, you burn more fat while you sleep at night. That’s because muscle burns more calories than fat does, even when you’re resting.
Lean muscle raises your metabolic rate by up to 36 percent!
Exercise During the Day For Better Fat Loss At Night
Weight Training During The Day
Performing weight training during the day helps burn more calories at night by increasing lean muscle mass. The more muscle you burn, the more fat your body burns, even when resting.
Weight training is best for increasing muscle mass. You can try full-body workouts or split your workouts into two different days.
HIIT Training During The Day
Performing HIIT (high-intensity interval training) at some point during the day can burn more calories and burn fat faster than steady-state cardio.
HIIT is a short, intense cardio exercise over a period of time, usually 20 minutes three times a week.
HIIT burns more calories because you alternate between giving it everything you’ve got and then resting.
If you're more advanced and want a harder workout, try The BEST 7.5 Minute Fat-Burning Workout You’ll Ever Use. Really.
Circuit Training During The Day
Circuit training is great for burning calories by working muscles to fatigue, helping burn fat reserves. Circuit training can burn up to 13 percent more calories than burns during steady-state cardio.
Jump Rope During The Day
Jump rope training burns about the same number of calories as one hour of jogging, but it’s broken up into short bursts.
You burn even more calories when you do it fast; the faster you move through each exercise, the more energy you burn.
Bodyweight Training During The Day
Bodyweight training helps you build lean muscle and burn fat as it targets your aerobic and anaerobic pathways. Performing exercises like squats, pushups, and planks in cycles can be fun and challenging.
A bodyweight workout is great because you don't need equipment, you don't need a gym, and you don't need much space.
Drink Tea Before Bed
Drinking a cup of green or white tea before bed can burn fat while you sleep. Drinking tea before bed is good because it lowers glucose absorption, reduces insulin resistance, and increases metabolic rate.
Tea also tends to relax you due to its theanine content, which I'll get into shortly.
Cinnamon Before Bed
Eating a teaspoon of cinnamon before bed can burn more calories while you sleep. Cinnamon is great because it increases insulin sensitivity to help burn fat stores faster.
Eat Low Carb For Your Final Meal Of The Day
Eating low carb causes you to have less insulin in bloodstream, so your body can access your bodyfat to use as fuel.
Make sure to eat the bulk of your carbs earlier in the day, then have a smaller amount of carbs at night before bed. We dig into this topic in carb manipulation.
Have A High-Protein Meal or Shake Before Bed
Consuming protein before bed helps repair muscles and neurotransmitters while you sleep. Having a low-carb protein shake like a whey + casein shake with water is perfect for getting in some extra muscle-building amino acids before bed.
If you're not a fan of protein shakes, another great option for protein before bed is cottage cheese with a small handful of walnuts, sprinkled with chia seeds. Cottage cheese is a great source of casein protein, which digests slowly to prevent catabolism.
The added walnuts and chia seeds provide healthy fats to keep you satiated until morning.
Foods Rich In Tryptophan
Foods rich in tryptophan help burn more calories while you sleep. Some foods that are high in tryptophan are almonds, whole milk, cottage cheese, pumpkin seeds, chicken, and turkey.
Fibrous Vegetables Before Bed
Fibrous vegetables are great to add to a pre-sleep meal because they burn more calories while you digest them.
Vegetables like kale, broccoli, spinach, and cauliflower burn an extra 50-100 calories because the fiber and nutrients burn energy for your body to digest.
Eating vegetables that burn fat before bed can be helpful to burn more fatty acids at rest and burn more calories during sleep.
The Quality Of Your Sleep Is Vitally Important
The quality of your sleep is just as important as how much you sleep.
High-quality sleep is vital to burn fat at a more efficient rate and burn calories while you burn them off.
Lack of good quality sleep reduces levels of leptin, which tells the body it’s okay to burn fat for fuel. It also increases levels of cortisol, which helps store fat in your fat cells and burn muscle.
Studies show that when people get a good night's sleep, they burn about 70 additional calories in the morning.
If you want to burn more fat while you burn it off, make sure to get good-quality sleep every night.
GABA Before Bed
Taking a GABA supplement an hour before bed can help you burn fat while you sleep. GABA lowers cortisol levels, which helps burn bodyfat while you burn calories from your food every day.
GABA raises growth hormone levels, which burn fat and build muscle. GABA also helps prevent weight loss from being related to muscle loss.
A great way to increase the natural production of GABA is by exercising regularly or taking a sauna.
5-HTP Before Bed
Taking a 5-HTP supplement before bed can burn an extra 100 calories while you sleep by stimulating serotonin production.
5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) is a serotonin precursor that increases the secretion of serotonin within the brain.
Researchers studied this phenomenon by administering either 5-HTP or placebo before bedtime to 6 healthy male volunteers who did not take part in any exercise program for 30 days prior to the study.
The scientists found that participants who took 5-HTP increased their body's rate of metabolism by roughly 10 percent for up to 2 hours after taking the supplement.
ZMA Before Bed
Supplementing with ZMA (Zinc Magnesium Aspartate) is great for building muscle and burning fat because it helps your body produce more growth hormone during sleep, which can burn an extra 100-200 calories per day.
Try using ZMA before bed, or taking a nap right after an intense workout. Both can cause you to burn calories at a faster rate while you sleep because of the increased growth hormone production.
Magnesium Before Bed
Taking magnesium by itself before bed helps burn fat by releasing more growth hormone while you sleep. Magnesium also increases serotonin production, which puts you in a better mood and makes you more relaxed.
Magnesium is great for improving sleep quality because your mind and muscles relax.
Theanine Before Bed
Theanine is an amino acid found in green tea. Taking theanine before bed helps burn fat by improving sleep quality. Theanine also increases serotonin levels, allowing for deeper sleep and better relaxation.
Cinnamon Before Bed
Adding cinnamon before bed can help burn fat because it raises metabolism and improves insulin sensitivity. Cinnamon also helps burn fat because the antioxidants help burn free radicals, increase glutathione levels, and burn more fatty acids for fuel.
Chamomile Tea Before Bed
Sipping chamomile tea before bed can burn an extra 100 calories by calming the muscles and relaxing your mind. Chamomile is great to use as a sleep aid because it helps burn fat by increasing serotonin levels for improved sleep.
Valerian Root Before Bed
Valerian root before bed can burn an extra 50-200 calories, which is great to burn off the last bit of stubborn bodyfat. Valerian root is also great for helping you fall asleep faster.
Like Theanine, Valerian Root can burn fat because it increases GABA levels to give you a relaxing effect. It also reduces cortisol levels so you burn more fatty acids at rest while burning the same number of calories.
Fish Oil Before Bed
Taking fish oil before bed can burn more fat. This is because fish oil improves insulin sensitivity to burn more bodyfat at rest. It also helps burn cytokines, which are inflammation-causing agents in your body that block fat loss.
Because of this, fish oil inhibits the absorption of triglycerides, which are fat molecules, so your body uses more of them for energy instead.
Try taking fish oil before bed to boost metabolism and decrease insulin resistance.
Drink Enough Water To Stay Hydrated
You need to make sure you're fully hydrated before bed. Drinking chilled water before bed can burn an extra 20-100 calories by boosting metabolism.
Drinking water before bed will also burn more bodyfat because your brain tells your kidneys to burn stored glycogen from fat cells as a source of energy at night instead of using the glycogen stored in muscles.
These are the best ways to burn fat while you sleep. With these techniques, you should burn fat like clockwork, making sure that pesky fat never has a chance to creep up on you.