If your dreams are of the adventurous variety, surely you must burn a few calories leaping tall buildings and soaring through the air, right? Not necessarily, according to Palinski.
“Just because you wake up with your heart racing, doesn’t mean that you’re burning calories,” she says. However, if a dream or nightmare causes you to toss and turn for minutes or hours, this will burn a few more calories than lying still.
On the flipside, if your nocturnal adventures are interrupting your sleep quality, it can actually have a negative impact on weight. Research shows that after a poor night’s sleep, hormones that regulate appetite such as ghrelin and leptin can become off balance, increasing appetite and causing you to eat more, which cancels out any slight calorie burn you may have experienced while tossing and turning at night.