Intermittent fasting has multiple definitions. The question is not about what you eat but when you eat. It is a lifestyle where you alternate meals and fasting. Even though you don’t fast intentionally, you “fast” while you sleep. One of the most common ways to fast is skipping breakfast and take the first meal at lunchtime. Another method is to eat your last meal at 7 pm.
Do not get intermittent fasting mixed up with starving yourself. Intermittent fasting helps you create a daily food routine. Some of you might lose weight and, others sleep better.
What is intermittent fasting?
Fasting is an ancient method consist of eating during a specific time. Before becoming a health trend, intermittent fasting was performed by religious orders.
Intermittent fasting is traditionally associated with weight loss as it limits calories intake during the day. When your body starves itself, it uses stored fat for energy, which also contributes to weight loss. In theory, it is supposed to help reduce your appetite by slowing your metabolism. It is recommended that you drink water or tea during the fasting period.
A popular method of intermittent fasting is to eat from 12 pm to 8 pm and then fast the rest of the night (this is called the 16:8). Other methods of fasting involve eating meals in a short period. Meals can be taken in a 6-hour time slot (fasting 18:6) or in a 4-hour time slot per day (fasting 20:4).
Intermittent fasting has many benefits. Intermittent fasting can boost the immune system and improve the secretion of hormones. It can also help fight illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity.
Keep in mind that fasting is not for everyone, especially pregnant women. If you are interested in intermittent fasting for health reasons, talk to your doctor first.
The Sleep Cycle
We already know that eating too close to bedtime can affect the quality of your sleep. Technically, you should go to bed three hours after eating a large meal. If you go to bed within three hours, your body will focus more on active digestion. For example, if you’ve eaten a large bowl of pasta at 7 pm, it’s best to go to bed after 10 pm to get a good night’s sleep.
It can help strengthen the circadian rhythm, which helps you sleep better. A regular eating routine during the day will help your body adopt a sleep schedule at night.
How to Sleep While Fasting
Each individual reacts differently to fasting. Some people simply cannot fall asleep with an empty stomach. Coffee is a stimulant and should not be drunk in the afternoon. Drinking alcohol before going to bed will make you drowsy.
If you practice intermittent fasting, stay hydrated during the day. A hydrated body will help you sleep well at night rather than a dehydrated body, which will lead to restless sleep and sometimes even snoring. If you need help relaxing after a long day, try yoga techniques to help you sleep better.