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Calories Burned Awake Vs. Sleeping

author image Sandra Richards
Sandra Richards has been writing since 1998 and has been published in the "Journal of Perinatology," the "Journal of Biological Chemistry" and other scientific publications. She holds bachelor's degrees in natural science and theology from Oakwood University, and is pursing a Doctor of Medicine and a Doctor of Philosophy in biochemistry from Loma Linda University.
Calories Burned Awake Vs. Sleeping
Knowing the calories burned during activity will help you achieve your weight goals Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images

Knowing the number of calories you burn during various activities and during sleep is important if you are trying to lose or maintain weight. Keeping track of calories will enable you to understand why your previous efforts may not have resulted in success. Also, it is crucial to understand the factors that affect how many calories you burn.

Definition of Calorie

The term “calorie” is frequently used to track the amount of energy we consume and expend. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary online, a calorie is “the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one kilogram of water one degree Celsius.”

Calorie Burning and Resting Metabolic Rate

Calorie burning is done continuously by your body, whether you are asleep or awake. The number of calories used depends on your resting metabolic rate (RMR), which is determined by several factors. Persons with heavier body mass will have a higher RMR because the extra weight requires more energy to move. Persons with higher muscle composition will have a higher RMR because muscle burns more calories than fat. Older persons and females generally have a lower RMR due to lower muscle mass.

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Calories Burned During Sleep

Your body burns calories all the time, even during sleep. During sleep, a 125-pound person burns 38 calories an hour, a 155-pound person burns 46 calories an hour, and a 185-pound person burns 56 calories an hour. Even if you are in one of these weight categories, the calories you burn may not be exactly the same, due to aforementioned factors that affect RMR.

Calories Burned While Awake

More energy is burned while awake than while sleeping — even if performing a sedentary activity. More vigorous activities cause more calories to be burned. For example, while running at 7.5 miles per hour, a 125-pound person burns 750 calories an hour, a 155-pound person burns 930 calories an hour, and a 185-pound person burns 1,110 calories an hour. Again, the calories you will burn performing these activities may be affected by the factors that determine RMR.

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