How Much Weight Do You Lose Overnight? Surprising Truths
Climb on your scale in the morning, and you’d probably find out that you’ll weigh less than you will at other times during the day. However, you shouldn’t feel like you’ve lost some progress in your weight loss journey when you see your weight has gone up a few more pounds when you consult your scale later on in the day.
The big question is: How much weight do you lose overnight? The answer to this question could unlock the weight loss secrets you’ve been searching for.
How Much Weight Do You Lose at Night
Overnight, you might observe that you lose between one to three pounds. This weight loss could be due to the water you lose through sweating and urination; and carbon loss.
Our weight is usually dynamic, so it doesn’t stay at one figure throughout the day. If you get a journal and keep a record of what you weigh at specific times during the day, you’ll notice these subtle differences too.
For instance, right after a delicious hearty meal with significant salt content would be an excellent time to stay away from the scale, especially if you get distressed seeing the numbers climb. That’s because the salt in the food could cause your body to retain more water and tip the scale forwards.
Merely chugging down two glasses of water can also add another pound to what you see on the scale—no need to panic because your body will use the water throughout the day for metabolic processes. So, you rest assured that you would lose that extra weight soon enough.
Why You Lose Weight Overnight
While you sleep, your body’s metabolism rate drops about 15%. That means many of your body’s processes that consume energy slows down. While that should technically work against weight loss at night, you might still observe yourself lighter in the morning than the night before.
Here are a few things that cause you to lose weight overnight:
The human body consists of about 60% water, and this contributes to your weight. If you drink a gallon of water right before you climb on a scale, the chances are that you’ll notice a slight weight increase.
Going by that same logic, anything that causes your body to lose water would, in turn, contribute to your weight loss.
Sadly, losing water weight wouldn’t contribute to fat loss. The reality is that such weight loss is only temporary, and you might find the numbers on the scale climb up during the day as you replenish the lost water.
The bottom line: Nightly water weight loss doesn’t affect your body’s fat content.
Two primary processes cause your body to lose water during the night:
Under normal conditions, you lose an average of 200 milliliters per eight hours of sleep. This figure also depends on the prevailing temperatures.
If the temperature is mild at about 85°F, your sweat production will stay within the average range. On the other hand, you would naturally sweat more on hotter nights.
A particularly sweaty night would usually translate to more weight loss in the morning. Nevertheless, once you refill the lost water during the day, you might notice the scale tip forward.
Furthermore, your nightly water loss is also under the influence of your diet, exercise, and health.
For instance, if you just had spicy food, you’re likely to sweat more during the night. Vigorous activities like exercise could also bump up the amount of water you lose as you sweat each night.
Your health status might also influence how much you sweat while you sleep. Sleep hyperhidrosis, known more commonly as night sweats, could be associated with menopause, medication, and several diseases.
These conditions might leave you with sweat-soaked sheets and a few pounds lighter in the morning.
Do you get up at night racing to the restroom?
If you answered yes to that question, then you’ve found one of the culprits for your lighter weight in the mornings.
If the urge to urinate typically interrupts your night rest, you might feel better about it if you know that it could make you weigh less in the morning.
Your age and health status play a role in how much urine your body produces at night.
Generally, the older you get, the higher the proportion of urine your body produces at night. Hence, nocturia is prevalent among the aged population.
Health conditions like congestive heart failure, diabetes mellitus, nephrotic syndrome, and diabetes insipidus all contribute to nocturia.
These factors seem to play a role in water loss during the night and might affect the amount of weight loss overnight.
Carbon forms the backbone of organic life. A large portion of the molecules that form the human body contains carbon.
Your body breaks down several carbon-rich molecules such as carbohydrates and fats to produce the energy it needs to function. These metabolic processes provide your body with the power it requires for physical and chemical activity.
So what happens to the carbon molecules?
Well, your body eliminates some of it as you breathe. Hence, the air you exhale has a higher carbon dioxide content than inhaled air.
Yeah, you heard that right; each breath you take helps your body eliminate some of the metabolism products.
Now it gets interesting:
Each breath you take through the night helps your body remove some carbon. When you sum up the weight of the carbon atoms eliminated through the night, you might observe how it contributes to the weight loss you notice in the morning.
You also lose water as you breathe. You see, your lung’s moist surface humidifies the inhaled air, which you also eliminate as you breathe out.
So, each gram of air you breathe during the night also rids you of a small amount of water vapor.
Role of Sleep Duration and Quality on Weight Loss
If you’re trying to lose weight, the chances are that exercise and diet are the areas that have got your focus.
However, you’d be surprised to learn that how long and well you sleep also influences your weight. A study found that people who slept for about five hours or less were more likely to become obese than those who got between seven to eight hours of sleep each night.
Hunger hormones such as leptin and ghrelin seem to be the link between sleep and weight loss. Sleep deprivation could throw these hormones out of balance which could affect your appetite and increase your cravings for sweet foods.
So, if you’re trying to lose weight in the long run, you might want to include a good night’s rest as part of your strategies.
Here are a few tips to improve your sleep experience if you’re finding it difficult to go to bed at night:
- Turn off the lights. That includes your phones and computers as blue light from these devices could affect your body’s melatonin production, which helps regulate your body’s sleep-wake cycle.
- Set a bedtime and stick to it. Developing a regular sleep schedule could help improve your sleep quality.
- Stay cool. You might find that you’ll sleep better when the temperatures are around 66–70°F.
- Try relaxing. Relaxation techniques such as meditation, tea, and soothing music could help you fall asleep quicker and improve your sleep quality.
Much of the weight you lose overnight is water weight and doesn’t translate to long-term weight loss. Loss of carbon dioxide with each breath you take also contributes to you feeling lighter in the morning.
Adequate sleep could also contribute to long-term weight loss by maintaining the balance between hunger hormones, leptin, and ghrelin.
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