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Can Intermittent Fasting Cause Insomnia

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Can Fasting Improve Your Sleep

Can Intermittent Fasting Cause Sleep Problems

Have you ever tried fasting? Trick question. We all fast naturally while we sleep and a growing number of people are extending that period to change their daytime eating habits as well.

If you stop eating before sunset, youre encouraging your bodys natural sleep pattern by circadian fasting.

When you go to bed with an empty stomach, the internal clocks in your digestive system align with the clock in your brain so that all your systems agree to go offline for sleep. This kind of fastingwhich you can accomplish simply by eating dinner early and avoiding snacks before bedcan unequivocally improve your sleep.

If youre embarking on a more complex fasting protocol, however, your digestive clocks need time to adjust to a new routine.

You may not see the improvements of fasting right away, but if you stick with it your body will adjust and your sleep patterns will normalize.

Dont Go To Bed Too Hungry

Relaxing into sleep might be more difficult if your stomach is grumbling. When youre hungry, your levels of cortisol a stress hormone rise, which can diminish your sleep quality.

Aim to schedule your last meal at least three hours before bed. This way, your digestion wont disturb your sleep, but you wont go to bed starving, either.

Is Intermittent Fasting Safe

Intermittent fasting is generally safe, but not for everyone. If youre pregnant or nursing, skipping meals is unideal. Similarly, if you struggle with diabetes, heart disease, kidney stones, or similar issues, speak to your doctor before making any drastic dietary change. People who struggle with eating disorders should avoid intermittent fasting entirely.

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History Of Diabetes And Intermittent Fasting

Fasting has been around for some time, particularly if you consider the historical role of fasting as part of many types of spiritual rituals. More recently, intermittent fasting has been used as part of a healthy diet for weight loss, as part of “detoxifying” the body, and more. But there has been much controversy surrounding the topic of fasting for those with diabetes.

Today, there is a growing body of evidence indicating that specific types of intermittent fasting diets may be beneficial for people with diabetes. In addition, scientists are beginning to speculate that when a person fasts may be just as important as the diet itself.

If Youre Not Sleeping Well There May Be A Medical Cause

Can intermittent fasting cause sleeplessness/insomnia ...

People who feel they sleep perfectly well may still be troubled by excessive daytime sleepiness because of a variety of underlying medical illnesses. A sleep disturbance may be a symptom of a health issue or an adverse effect of therapy to treat the problem. The stress of chronic illness can also cause insomnia and daytime drowsiness.Common conditions often associated with sleep problems include heartburn, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, musculoskeletal disorders, kidney disease, mental health problems, neurological disorders, respiratory problems, and thyroid disease. In addition, a number of prescription and over-the-counter medications used to treat these and other health problems can impair sleep quality and quantity .

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Who Needs Special Guidance18

Individuals in the following categories may be able to successfully fast, but they should seek care from an experienced healthcare clinician to ensure safety. If you need help finding someone with knowledge in this area, please see our clinicians map.

  • Those who take diabetes medication: Someone with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes who takes medications that lower blood sugar such as insulin, sulfonylureas, and others may be at risk of dangerously low blood sugars when fasting. This applies equally to long- and short-term fasts.These individuals may still be able to fast, but they will need careful coaching and monitoring from an experienced professional. You can see our informational resource meant to educate clinicians and help them guide their clients to safely start and maintain a fasting routine.
  • Those who take blood pressure medications: While the effect of fasting on blood pressure is much less dramatic than the effect on blood sugar, some may find their blood pressure drops too low when fasting. This is more relevant for longer-term fasts, but can also be an issue with short-term fasts. Close supervision with a physician is recommended.19
  • Those with serious medical conditions: Any serious liver, kidney, heart, or other condition may negatively impact ones ability to fast safely. Anyone with these conditions should get clearance from their physician first.
  • Limit Screen Time Before Bed

    Electronic screens emit what is known as blue light a specific type of light that is also emitted by the sun.

    This type of light stimulates receptors in the eye, which increases brain activity and alters hormone secretion to promote a state of wakefulness. In this manner, it ultimately tricks your body into thinking that it is daytime.

    With this in mind, exposure to electronic screens before bed has been shown to significantly disrupt sleep quality and duration. This makes avoiding screens for an hour before bed a must for anyone looking to improve their sleep in a big way .

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    How To Improve Fasting Insomnia

    So what can you do about all this to sleep better?

    There are a few main approaches to try and mitigate the severity of your sleep difficulties:

    • Time – Being patient isnt fun, but in most cases, people who are fasting will adapt to their new diet in 1-4 weeks.
    • Try a different eating window – Some people sleep best if they have their eating window early in the day, while others are the opposite. Experiment for at least a few days at a time.
    • Be less aggressive – Cut back on your fasting window temporarily until you get used to it, and then extend it gradually.
    • Improve your sleep hygiene – Almost everyone has some poor sleep hygiene habits. If you were a good sleeper before, they werent as important, but now every little bit counts. Here’s a complete guide to sleep hygiene for insomnia prevention.
    • Consider an over the counter sleep aid – Melatonin can make it easier to get to sleep and provide some relief while youre adjusting.

    SummaryMost importantly, if your sleep difficulties start causing you serious physical health symptoms, go see a doctor so they can help you find the root cause.

    How Intermittent Fasting Can Help People With Insomnia

    How Can Intermittent Fasting Help Women Over 40?

    Weve looked at how intermittent fasting can cause sleep issues in the short term, but in the long term it can help.

    Fasting can improve insulin control, which comes with a host of benefits like :

    • Weight loss
    • Lower risk of diabetes
    • More stable energy levels
    • Higher levels of growth hormone

    All of these lower your risk of developing insomnia in the future, and can help with deeper, more restorative sleep.

    They also come with other physical health benefits, but thats beyond the scope of this post.


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    For Intermittent Fasting Beginners Whats Easy

    For myself, and clients that weve worked with, many aspects of the IF diet came naturally.

    1. Sleeping more

    Firstly, the longer sleep window makes transitioning to a shorter eating window more easily. Youre asleep while your stomach is growling.

    2. More encouragement to eat healthy

    The transition to a shorter eating window is easier for individuals eating a healthy diet and staying hydrated. If youre lacking nutrients and calories, your transition is going to be much harder.

    Use your new IF plan to further motivate you to eat healthier. A healthy diet consists of fiber-filled carbs, healthy fats like nuts and avocados, high-quality animal products, and as many vegetables as possible.

    3. Working out

    I was apprehensive about working out on an empty stomach. Fortunately, it was not a problem at all after a short time. I even noticed my workout performance increase.

    There were a couple instances when I became dizzy while working out in a fasted state. I stopped, drank water, and ate a banana. After a few minutes, I was ready to go again. As always, listen to your body and avoid deprivation.

    4. Dont be too strict

    The most important thing for beginners is to listen to your body and adjust accordingly. For example, if a 16/8 plan is too extreme, begin with a 12/12.

    Or, if youre consistently going to bed hungry while intermittent fasting, the short-term solution is a bedtime snack, while the long-term goal is to eat more food.

    How Can I Improve Sleep While Intermittent Fasting

    Trust me. I know how hard it can be to fall asleep when youre hungry.

    If youre new to intermittent fasting and having difficulty sleeping or waking up at night, the following will help. The goal with intermittent fasting, as it was for me, should be to get more and better quality sleep.

    1. Find what works for you

    Were all unique individuals. Therefore, our bodys response to IF can vary. Instead of getting caught up in studies, facts, or what worked for your friend, engage in self-experimentation.

    Try various eating windows. If youre eating in a 6-hour window and not sleeping well, scale back to a 10 or 12-hour window. Your cortisol levels may become too high with such a long fast. Excess cortisol makes it hard to fall asleep and sleep soundly.

    Also, keep a journal of what youre eating, when, and how you sleep. Then, over time, you can determine how the foods you eat are affecting your sleep.

    Lastly, try adjusting your bedtime. Listen to your body, and when your circadian rhythm nudges you to go to sleep, do it. If youre too hungry to sleep, maybe youre staying up too late.

    Sleep is complex. If youre intermittent fasting and cant sleep, there are likely many factors, not just your new eating schedule.

    Could it be possible that you are spending too much time looking at a screen?

    Or are you drinking too much alcohol?

    2. Drink more water

    Yes, you can drink water while intermittent fasting. And, you should. Lots of it!

    3. Monitor your meals

    And what about carbs?

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    Enjoy The Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting Without The Negative Side Effects

    You no longer have to choose between a beneficial eating schedule and quality sleep. Intermittent fasting offers numerous health benefits including weight loss, reduced blood sugar levels, increased energy, and improved mood. By choosing the right fasting schedule and foods plus adopting healthy sleep habits, you can practice intermittent fasting and also achieve a good nights sleep.

    At Somnus Therapy, were dedicated to helping you understand and accept your sleep troubles and adopting an insomnia treatment plan that works best for you. Through a variety of therapy techniques, you can finally achieve the blissful sleep you deserve.

    Over 2,000 users have already beat their insomnia with Somnus Therapy!

    Thanks to Somnus Therapy I now sleep well each night without medication! This was a huge milestone for me so thank you.

    Sinead Browning

    How To Prevent Intermittent Fasting From Ruining Your Sleep


    If you don’t plan your meals right while doing intermittent fasting, you could go to bed hungry, which could, in turn, ruin your sleep. From a nutrition standpoint, many people have trouble going to bed when they are hungry, so that may cause some to have issues falling asleep,” Goodson says.

    You can combat that by eating dinner or a substantial meal as close to the end of your eating period as possible, according to Goodson. Having adequate protein and fiber can also help because they both slow down digestion and will likely help you stay full longer,” she says. Try a shrimp-packed salad, a veggie-filled chickpea and quinoa bowl, or chicken and kale wraps for enough fiber and protein to keep you satiated.

    It’s also important to note that some methods of intermittent fasting, like the 16:8 plan, allow you to drink water, black coffee, and non-caloric drinks during your fasting hourswhich is a double-edged sword. This can help people fight hunger as liquid can help with feelings of fullness, plus drinking adequately during the waking hours also helps meet hydration needs,” Goodson says. But drinking caffeine too close to bedtime can have worsen your sleep.

    Stick to a cup of joe early in the day, and water or caffeine-free drinks later in the afternoon, to avoid spending the night staring at the ceiling. Just make sure to not drink too close to bedtimeotherwise, you may end up making frequent trips to the bathroom.

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    Avoid Eating At Irregular Times

    The times you eat can affect your bodys circadian rhythm. When you eat, your body temperature rises. However, to best fall asleep, your body temperature should drop. So eating at the wrong times will make it difficult for your body to cool down for sleep, which can make it more difficult to fall asleep if youre a hot sleeper vs a cold sleeper.

    If your eating schedule conflicts with the natural cycle of your circadian rhythm on a regular basis, your melatonin levels may decreaseVerified Source National Library of Medicine Worlds largest medical library, making biomedical data and information more accessible.View source and your body will spend less time in REM sleep.

    Increases Human Growth Hormone Production

    People who intermittently fast generally have higher levels ofVerified Source National Library of Medicine Worlds largest medical library, making biomedical data and information more accessible.View source human growth hormone compared to those who follow a normal eating pattern. Additional human growth hormone helps with:

    • Muscle growth
    • Metabolism
    • Fat loss

    It also maintains and restores organ tissues and cellular repair, including in the brain. Plus fasting can promote healthy gene expression.

    Based on a 2013 study,Verified Source National Library of Medicine Worlds largest medical library, making biomedical data and information more accessible.View source higher levels of human growth hormone may also increase a persons slow-wave sleep and decrease a persons sleep disturbances.

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    When Intermittent Insomnia Is Caused By Anxiety Its Usually Either Anticipatory Or Performance Anxiety

    Anticipatory anxiety means you fear an event because you are certain it wont go well. This could be the case if you cant sleep before a medical procedure or any event that holds importance for you or someone close to you.

    A parent might not sleep well before their child starts school, for example, even though its the child who must face the ordeal.

    Performance anxiety means you doubt your ability to pull off a good performance, whether work-related, school-related, family-related, friend-related, and so on.

    So you wont sleep the night before you must give a presentation or make an important sales call or start a new job or host an event youve organized.

    As strong as the insomnia-anxiety connection is, there are still other causes of intermittent insomnia.

    And not all of them are mental or emotional causes. They can also be physical and/or behavioral. Intermittent insomnia can be associated with drinking too much or eating the wrong foods, staying out too late or ignoring your need to sleep until you get your circadian rhythms out of whack.

    And I think its also important to note that some mental or emotional causes might not necessarily be negative. You might find yourself becoming too excited or over-stimulated to sleep from events that happened during the day.

    it joins in with your pattern of intermittent insomnia and reinforces that pattern, and brings you more difficulty.

    Intermittent Fasting And Insomnia: What This Diet Trend Does To Your Sleep

    How To Handle Water Fasting Insomnia

    Atkins. KETO. South Beach. With so many trendy, fad diets out there its hard to keep track. Although the concept of fasting has been around for decades, its gaining traction again as an effective way to lose weight and force your body into fat-burning mode.

    This newest weight-loss trend is known as intermittent fasting and encompasses several time structures where people fast for a specific number of hours before allowing themself to eat certain foods during a much shorter, restricted time period. Some common forms include periodic fasting, alternate-day fasting, and daily time-restricted feeding.

    Your waistline isnt the only thing affected by intermittent fasting. This diet craze can also impact your sleep patterns, which interestingly enough, may also impact your weight loss efforts. Keep reading to learn all there is to know about intermittent fasting, how it impacts sleep patterns, and how to practice insomnia treatment at home.


    Enjoy the Benefits of Intermittent Fasting without the Negative Side Effects

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    Maintains A Healthy Body Weight

    While intermittent fasting isnt guaranteed to burn fat, many people use it to maintain healthy body weight and reduce the risk of obesity. In 2014,Verified Source ScienceDirectOne of the largest hubs for research studies and has published over 12 million different trusted resources.View source researchers found people who intermittent fasted lost between 3 to 8 percent of weight over 3 to 24 weeks. Another study in 2017 found obese men who intermittent fast lost more weight compared to normal calorie restriction.

    The restricted eating periods prevent the overconsumption of food. After all, theres less time to consume as much food as you would normally. Unless youre purposefully eating calorically dense food to make up for the short eating period, eating fewer calories leads to weight loss.

    Plus, the act of routine fasting alters the bodys hormones to foster fat loss. When youre not eating, the bodys insulin levels drop. This decrease in insulin causes the body to release glucose as energy.

    Repeatedly fasting keeps the bodys insulin levels lowerVerified Source Harvard HealthBlog run by Harvard Medical School offering in-depth guides to better health and articles on medical breakthroughs.View source for longer and increases the bodys human growth hormone production, facilitating natural fat loss.

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