Why Intermittent Fasting Affects Insomnia
Keto Diet

Why Intermittent Fasting Affects Insomnia

With the many health benefits of intermittent fasting, from weight loss to improved cognitive performance and even delayed aging, it’s no wonder that more and more people are trying this diet that is both old and new.

What Is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting, also known as light fasting, refers to eating at a specific time of day and fasting for the rest of the day. As two examples, some people follow a 16:8 schedule where they eat only for eight hours (for example, between 12 noon and 8 p.m.) and fast for the rest of the day. Others may choose to restrict caloric intake on any two days of the week and then eat normally for the rest of the day, which is known as a 5:2 fast.

There are many ways to do light fasting, and the key is to choose what works for you based on your work schedule. Intermittent fasting focuses on limiting the amount of time you eat without having to focus on the calories in your diet.

This practice encourages your body to enter “fasting mode” and begin to convert fat reserves into energy, resulting in weight loss. Fasting also helps to give your digestive system a good rest so that your body can focus on cellular repair and energy recovery.

The Origins of Fasting And Its New Fad

Fasting is not a new phenomenon. In fact, throughout history, it has been a common practice in many major religions.

During Ramadan, Muslims fast from dawn to sunset, eating and drinking only at night; practicing Jews fast for 25 hours during Yom Kippur; and Christians fast during certain times of Lent.

The idea of improving health through fasting has been around since the time of Hippocrates. Especially in modern times, more and more people are becoming aware of the benefits that proper light fasting can bring to the body.

For example, in 2013, British journalist Michael Mosley was the first to popularize the 5:2 fasting method to the general public and created a sensation throughout the United Kingdom. His new book, The Fast Diet, continues to top Amazon.com’s best-seller list upon publication.

Thanks to widespread media coverage, intermittent fasting has become an effective weight loss strategy.
In recent years, obesity rates have increased rapidly in Western societies. In the United States in particular, more than two-thirds of adults are considered overweight or obese and obesity poses significant health risks, such as the increased risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Health risks can be reduced through weight loss, and intermittent fasting is one of the most effective strategies.

What Are the Health Benefits of Light Fasting?

Studies show that the main health benefits of intermittent fasting include:

  • Weight loss
  • Promoting metabolic health
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Improving immune function
  • Lowering cholesterol
  • Prevent neurodegenerative diseases Diseases
  • Better cognitive performance
  • Improves mood
  • Delay organ and cellular aging
  • Improved sleep

How Does Intermittent Fasting Affect Sleep?

Many people have a hard time falling asleep or wake up easily in the middle of the night when they first try fasting. However, if you stick with it for a few more days you will find that you sleep much better.

Studies have shown that intermittent fasting can improve sleep quality by strengthening circadian rhythms. The body’s circadian rhythm governs a range of biological functions, from your appetite and metabolism to your sleep-wake cycle. Circadian rhythms are regulated primarily by sunlight, but humans have an equally robust set of secondary circadian rhythms (or time cues), and that is meal timing.

When a regular mealtime is followed, it can help strengthen your natural circadian rhythm. People who fast lightly and regularly also have higher levels of growth hormones in their bodies. Typically growth hormone is produced in large amounts during sleep. It can help burn fat, restore muscle strength, and help cells repair themselves. As a result, fasting people may wake up feeling more refreshed.

In addition, people who are accustomed to intermittent fasting may also find that their energy and focus are much improved. Fasting increases the production of appetite-A, a neurotransmitter associated with alertness and arousal. Specifically, fasting individuals have lower levels of appetite-A at night and higher levels during the day. As a result, they feel more energetic during the day and enjoy a deeper and more restful sleep at night.

The positive effects of intermittent fasting on sleep can occur in as little as a week. One study of healthy adults found that after participants fasted lightly for a week, their sleep quality improved at several levels, including length of sleep and level of deep sleep. In particular, participants had more extended periods of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. During this stage of sleep, the brain processes emotional and psychological issues more effectively.

Overall, the study concluded that intermittent fasting was effective in promoting sleep quality, improving mood, and enhancing concentration during the day.

Can Intermittent Fasting Cause Insomnia?

While light fasting can help improve sleep quality, it can also lead to sleep problems in some cases, depending on when you eat.

When people eat irregularly, it can disrupt their sleep. Eating primarily just before bedtime can raise body temperature, contrary to what usually happens during sleep. Eating too close to bedtime may upset your stomach, which can disrupt sleep and affect your mental state when you wake up.

For example, during Ramadan, Muslims fast during the day and eat at night. This eating pattern conflicts with the body’s natural circadian rhythms and can lead to lower melatonin levels. Melatonin, also known as the sleep hormone, is an important hormone that helps regulate the body’s circadian rhythm, and it is produced most at night. Aging and frequent late nights can lead to a decrease in melatonin production.

How to Ensure Sleep Quality During Fasting

How to Ensure Sleep Quality During Fasting?

A regular diet can help improve the quality of sleep. Incorporating some healthy sleep tips can help you sleep better during a fast.

1. Don’t Go to Sleep When You’re Too Hungry

If you are unbearably hungry, it may be harder to fall asleep. When you feel hungry, your body’s stress hormone cortisol levels will rise which will reduce the quality of your sleep. Therefore, you should eat your last meal at least three hours before bedtime. This way, your stomach won’t be too full to interfere with sleep, but also won’t let you go to bed hungry.

2. Stay Hydrated

Dehydration in the body can lead to shorter sleep or lower sleep quality. Drinking more water during the day can reduce hunger and also make it easier for you to fall asleep at night. However, be careful with your caffeine and alcohol intake. While caffeine may reduce your appetite, it can also disrupt your sleep. Alcohol can affect your sleep in addition to negatively impacting your metabolism and causing nutritional deficiencies.

3. Choose Healthy Diets

While following a light fast doesn’t have to be too concerned about the calories in your food, you should also try to avoid high-sugar and empty-calorie foods during meals. These junk foods can cause blood sugar spikes and crashes, thus making you unable to continue fasting because you are hungrier. If you eat more healthy and nutrient-dense foods, you’ll find it’s not hard to stick to intermittent fasting. Whole foods, fruits, vegetables, and healthy proteins and fats are the best choices.

4. Find Out What Fasting Works for You

As with any change in life and diet, it takes a few days to get used to intermittent fasting. While you find the right schedule, give yourself some flexibility to rationalize your diet according to your routine and time of life. The key is to always listen to how your body is feeling, be kind to yourself, and stick to what is good for your health.

If you find that you can’t sleep or wake up easily at the beginning of the fast, this is normal. After sticking with it for a while, your sleep quality will improve very much as your body adjusts to the new eating routine.

Intermittent fasting can have some side effects and it is not suitable for everyone, especially if you are pregnant or have health problems, please consult your doctor before you start trying fasting.