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That`s right. Sleeping more burns calories. While it may not make you break a sweat, REM cycles burn tons of calories.
I was watching Dr.Oz and he mentioned sleeping is benificial to weightloss. I`ve heard this a thousand times but I never understood how the two connected.
If you are sleep deprived, meaning less than 8 hours a night, your body makes more of a hormone called ghrelin which makes you hungry, less of leptin which tells you that you are full, and more cortisol which increases appetite.
BUT, if you do get 8 hours of sleep you may possibly burn more calories than you would if you were awake. REM cycle causes the brain to have high levels of activity, which needs fuel that it gets from glucose (basic building blocks of food).
If the only health change you were to make is to just get 8 hours of sleep every night, on average you could lost up to 14 pounds in a year.
So if you add this on top of healthy eating and excerising you can speed weight loss up a pretty good amount!