How Much Weight Do You Lose Overnight On Average 2022?

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Reviewed by Sutton, D., MD
how much weight do you lose overnight

A healthy diet and exercises are the most excellent weight loss combos but do you know enough overnight sleep can get you to your desired weight? How much weight do you lose overnight? It is one of the hot topics in the fitness journey, and we have the answers for you.

A good night’s sleep assists your body in getting rid of waste products & toxins, repairing itself, and consistently maintaining a healthy sleep schedule, allowing it to purify, heal, and rejuvenate itself.

This article contains all the necessary information on sleep and how much weight you lose overnight. You also get to understand why you lose weight overnight, the role of sleep duration and quality on weight loss, and how to improve your bedtime routine to support long-term weight loss

How Much Weight Do You Lose Overnight?

During sleep, the body can burn calories, because while sleeping, more energy is needed to keep the heart, brain, lungs, and other vital systems active. Healthy sleep habits might be the missing link for more productive weight management.

As you sleep, your body burns calories, causing you to lose between 1 to 4 pounds of your weight overnight; this weight loss can be regarded as temporary weight loss because you need to consume fewer calories than you burn to avoid weight gain.

how much weight do you lose overnight

Why You Lose Weight Overnight

Water Weight

The average human body contains about 55% to 60% water[1], a significant portion of your body weight, which accounts for weight loss due to water weight. Some estimates assume that 80% of overnight weight loss results from water loss, but this claim depends on body composition and metabolic rate. Generally, burning body fat cells overnight occurs:

  • When You Sweat

The body will naturally release over 200 milliliters of sweat if you sleep for eight hours because the body temperature remains within the average temperature of 85°F, but on hotter nights, the body tends to produce more sweat as transpiration occurs, i.e., you lose water through the skin.

Diet can also affect how much you naturally sweat at night. Take the example of having a spicy dinner before bed. Your body will lose more water to aid digestion by cooling off spice molecules that might have seeped into the cells, causing you to sweat more and lose water.

  • Through Urination

As you grow older and your body develops, the more urine you produce because the amount of water and food taken during the day increases as you get older. 

A breakdown of toxins and body waste will ultimately lead to certain portions becoming urine, and because the body cannot absorb urine, the only way to get rid of it is out of the body.

Carbon Loss

The body’s normal function is to breathe in oxygen molecules and breathe out carbon dioxide. And for every single exhalation, two or more ounces of cells escape, which accounts for carbon loss.

An extra oxygen atom escapes through every exhalation, attaching its weight to the carbon; this means you simultaneously release oxygen and carbon dioxide every time you exhale.

Although the weight of a single carbon atom relative to the body weight is barely negligible when you sleep, you inhale and exhale more than a hundred times, reducing your body’s weight.

Health Conditions

Hypothyroidism[2] occurs when the thyroid gland (a small butterfly-shaped gland in the neck region) is underactive, i.e., it cannot produce the hormones triiodothyronine and thyroxine that contribute to the body’s metabolism. A person suffering from hypothyroidism is likely to burn more calories than usual because the thyroid glands cannot regulate the metabolic rate in the body. 

Common symptoms of hypothyroidism include; a weaker immune system when cold, fatigue, muscle and joint pain, irregular or heavy periods, decreased sweating, constipation, etc. Please visit a registered health center as soon as possible to get tested.

Role Of Sleep Duration And Quality On Weight Loss

The recommended and most adequate sleep time for adults is from seven to nine hours (an average range of eight hours) overnight, but not a lot of people keep to this sleeping standard,  and several studies show that sleeping less than the recommended time can be linked to obesity and diabetes.

A study[3] by Harvard compared women older than 16 years who sleep for seven hours at night and those who sleep for less than five hours; the study found that 15% of the former were likely to gain weight or be obese; this research also includes that struggling with sleep deprivation or getting less sleep and circadian rhythm poses a risk of type 2 diabetes and obesity.

Another research[4] conducted by Associated Professional Sleep Societies meeting in 2009 had healthy young men participate in a weight loss research where an average number of them lost a quarter (1/4) pound per hour while they slept.

Poor sleep quality decreases physical activity, which affects weight management because the less sleep you get, the more tired you become. Instead of building muscle mass from continuous physical activity, you are stuck with weight gain from unbalanced hormones, unhealthy diets, and fatigue.How much time you spend sleeping affects how much time you have to eat; it’s either you get enough sleep, have lesslesser time at hand to take in more food, stabilize your hunger hormones or sleep less and have more time to eat more. Those are the only two ways you can have it.

Poor sleep quality decreases physical activities, which affects weight management because the less amount of sleep you get, the more tired you are to become. Instead of building muscle mass from continuous physical activity, you are stuck with weight gain from unbalanced hormones, unhealthy diets, and fatigue.

 Improving your bedtime routine can support long-term weight loss

Stick to a schedule

Sleep curtailment is sometimes a result of an unregulated sleep schedule. Getting the body to fall asleep quicker, demanding immediate productivity, and seeking excessive solutions to balancing your schedule might do more harm than good.

It is advisable to monitor your night and day schedule and how much energy you use during the day and at night. Rearrange your work time to the day to build up a more tasking daytime so you are tired and can fall asleep quicker at a particular bedtime. Do well to stick to your sleep time for effectiveness.

Use relaxation techniques

Meditation, drinking a cup of chamomile tea, soothing music, aromatherapy, and deep breathing exercises are relaxation techniques you can try to improve your bedtime routine. Relaxing your brain puts your body in a safe and comforting position, making it super easy to fall asleep.

Turn off the lights

The hormone (Melatonin), responsible for regulating the sleep-wake cycles, is influenced by light exposure from light sources like the sun, fluorescent lights, LEDs, and other sources of blue light—the greater the light, the less melatonin produced by the brain.

So, do well to turn off the lights or reduce when you’re about to go to bed. Your gadgets (computers, tablets, phones, etc.) produce blue lights, too, and it is advisable to avoid using such devices right before bed. Instead, listen to a podcast or read a book on your bed.

Lower the temperature

The temperature in your room affects your regular sleep schedule, and as your body prepares to sleep, its temperature decreases. If your room’s temperature is quite hot, you might find it difficult to sleep because your body’s temperature increases to balance with your room’s temperature.

Regulating your room’s temperature to attain a more relaxed environment for sleep will surely help you sleep better. Some studies show that room temperature at 66–70°F (19–21°C) is ideal for a good night’s sleep.

Conclusion

A good night’s sleep causes you to lose some pounds from water weight (night sweats and urination) and carbon loss but getting the balanced weight loss equation controls your weight in the long run.

If you want to stay on track and be consistent with your weight loss plan, exercise, and diet,  a stable sleeping schedule is the needed balance to achieve productive results. Convincing debates support this claim by lowering obesity through sustainable weight loss while promoting enough sleep.

Remember that sleep is an added advantage to a healthy lifestyle, not a leading factor in burning calories. Practicing habits like setting and maintaining a regular sleep schedule and reducing caffeine intake at night improves sleep quality.

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the best time to weigh yourself?

Checking your weight in the morning produces the most accurate weight because your body has gone through the overnight hours of digestion, so all you had eaten and drunk the day before are already out of your system by morning.

What time of day is heaviest?

During the daytime, we are heavier. Please note that being heavier is very different from being fatter. You are most likely to weigh more at night than during the day.

Where do you lose weight first?

Weight loss is an internal process, and fats surrounding internal organs like the liver and kidneys are the first to go; the fat loss in those areas makes you stronger and leaner.

What is the most challenging place to lose fat?

Fats in the belly are the hardest to lose because they are much harder to break down than fats in the legs, arms, and face.

Can 1lb be lost overnight?

 You can lose 1lb overnight through urination, sweating, and loss in carbon through exhalation.

Why do I feel thinner but not losing weight?

Since scales don’t differentiate between muscles and fats, when being weighed, feeling thinner (attaining regular strength) while maintaining the same weight might mean that you are gaining powers but losing fats.

What is the most accessible type of fat to lose?

The visceral fat around the waistline’s vital organs is the easiest to lose because they respond well to regular endurance exercises.

Why do I weigh less than I look?

It is essential to understand that your weight doesn’t indicate your body composition but your body mass index (BMI. The percentage of muscle versus fat in your body (body composition) is not measurable by a scale, so you can weigh less than you look.

+ 4 sources

MIDSS has strict procurement guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutes and medical associations. We work primarily with peer-reviewed studies to ensure accuracy. We avoid using tertiary references. For more information on how we ensure the accuracy and timeliness of our content, please see our editorial policy.

  1. Usgs.gov. (2019). The Water in You: Water and the Human Body | U.S. Geological Survey. [online] Available at: https://www.usgs.gov/special-topics/water-science-school/science/water-you-water-and-human-body [Accessed 28 Oct. 2022].
  2. American Thyroid Association. (2016). Hypothyroidism | American Thyroid Association. [online] Available at: https://www.thyroid.org/hypothyroidism/ [Accessed 28 Oct. 2022].
  3. Obesity Prevention Source. (2012). Sleep. [online] Available at: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/obesity-prevention-source/obesity-causes/sleep-and-obesity/ [Accessed 28 Oct. 2022].
  4. Freese, K. (2022). SLEEP 2023 Home – SLEEP Meeting. [online] SLEEP Meeting. Available at: https://www.sleepmeeting.org/ [Accessed 28 Oct. 2022].

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bayer, R., MD
Medical Writer & Medical Doctor
Rick is a Final Year Medical Student. Passionate about medicine, fitness and personal growth, he is always ready to challenge himself to accomplish tasks and especially spread correct medical information to people. Rick is a long-term medical writer for several sites. With more than 5 years of experience in medical writing, he has completed 200+ projects with private and business clients.

ABOUT MEDICAL REVIEWER

Sutton, D., MD
Medical Writer & Editor
Drew is a retired ENT doctor who now lives in the Southeastern US. He was a member of the American Academy of Otolaryngology and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. He has a bachelor’s degree in Biology and Psychology and an MD degree. He completed his internship in General Surgery and Residency in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and practiced for almost 30 years in all aspects of ENT, including a specialization in disorders of the ear and skull base. Drew is passionate about communicating his clinical experiences and making his knowledge more accessible to the general public by medical writing.