First of all, BMR is the Basal Metabolic Rate. And BMR is based on the calories you need to support vital body functions while you are completely at rest over a 24 hour period.
So why is BMR important? Because, BMR tells you how many calories you need to function so you can reach your health and fitness goals. And, having a higher BMR means you will burn more calories while resting which means you can increase the amount of calories you are able to burn during the day.
Studies have found that not being able to sleep 8 hours lowers your BMR as well as having other effects. Moreover these other effects of sleep deprivation are illustrated in the infographic below.
Most of all, the lowered BMR means putting on weight. For example, one study found that healthy adults who slept for only four hours on five consecutive nights had their BMR drop by 2.6%. But it’s not all bad news. Because by sleeping for 12 straight hours the next day their BMR returned to normal.
On the other hand, if getting less than 7 to 8 hours of sleep is a pattern, then your BMR will continue to drop or stay low. And this will cause you to gain weight.
Moreover, it’s important to know what natural factors also lower your BMR. First of all, starting in your 20s your body starts losing 2 to 3% of lean muscle mass each decade. And in women, thyroid and hormone production slows down after the age of 40.
But all is not lost, you can increase your BMR by strength training. Strength training increases your muscle mass. And having more lean muscles translates to lower body fat percentage.
So, while it’s important to get 8 hours of sleep a night, circumstances such as having to work night shifts, may prevent you from achieving that goal. And one way to compensate is to include strength training in your daily schedule.
Moreover, increasing your BMR means you burn more calories at rest, even while sleeping. Also, a higher BMR means you burn more calories when exercising and also throughout the day. Most of all, a higher BMR means you can eat more.