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Fasting and its Positive Effect on Sleep – Tribune Online

Apr 7th, 2023

Fasting has always been a part of religious practice and tradition. Its also increasingly popular as a tool for weight loss, anti-ageing and longevity and comes in different structures.

DuringRamadan, Muslims fast from dawn to sunset, eating and drinking only early in the morning and late in the evening. The Jews engage in a 25-hour fast during Yom Kippur, and Christians fast for various durations over the day during Lent and other prayer programs.

Another fasting structure is intermittent fasting. During intermittent fasting, one restricts eating to specific times over the days 24 hours and fast during the other hours. This splitting of eating and fasting times varies according to the purpose of fasting. Some limit eating to 10 or 12 hours over the 24 hours of the day allowing for the fast to occur every day in the remaining 12 14 hours. Others observe a 24-hour fast for one or more days.

Research shows that fasting can in many ways improve sleep, especially short-term fasting. Fasting people have individual opinions of shorter sleep, and yet feel deeply relaxed. Fasting helps the body stay well-aligned for sleep. It may improve sleep by balancing our bodys 24-hour internal clock, which is the sleep-wake cycle. This clock is responsible for some bodily functions like body chemical reactions, appetite, and sleep. The clock is regulated primarily by the sunrise and sunset, but the food is also a powerful signal. Sticking to set meal times, done during fasting, can strengthen the 24-hour biological clock. A more coordinated internal body clock means itll be easier to fall and stay asleep.

During fasting, people have higher levels of a body chemical called human growth hormone produced during sleep. This chemical burns fat, restores muscles, and helps the body repair itself. With the digestive system also resting, it further approves the body to focus on that repair and restoration. So, people who fast may wake up refreshed and restored. Other fasting benefits include weight loss, better body chemical reactions, reduced blood sugar and cholesterol, strengthened immune system, delayed ageing, improved overall mood and so on.

While fasting improves sleep quality, it may also impact sleep in negative ways. When people eat at the wrong times or quantities, it can disrupt their sleep. Eating late at night raises the bodys temperature which is the opposite of what typically occurs with sleep, making it difficult to fall and stay asleep. Again, eating heavily near bedtime might upset your stomach making sleep restless. Also, the reduced food intake or extreme hunger from fasting may trigger an increase in cortisol, a body chemical associated with stress and which contributes to keeping one awake. Too much can frustrate falling asleep.

One way to prevent these eating problems is to eat the right foods at the right non-fasting times. Avoid processed foods, high sugar and fried foods; focus on whole foods, plenty of fibre, vegetables, fruits, proteins like fish and healthy fats from nuts. Eat the meal at least 3 hours before bed to avoid sleep disruption by temperature raise and stomach upset while also preventing late-night hunger. Dont go to bed hungry because the brain will be telling itself to stay awake to find food. Limit intake of caffeine, alcohol and nicotine.

In addition to what and when you eat and drink, good sleep behaviours help you sleep well. Do regular safe exercises. Enjoy bedtime with book reading, calming music etc. A soothing bath or meditation helps one to unwind and relax before bed. Ensure you sleep on a quality mattress and pillow, in a place smelling nice, without noise or light especially theblue lightfrom digital devices.

By choosing the right fasting schedule and foods plus adopting healthy sleep habits, you can fast and also achieve quality sleep.

Let us remember that when you sleep, where you sleep and how you sleep affect your mental health, physical well-being and living a healthy life. We all need quality sleep to be set for productivity in our endeavours.

Do you need further information on the above subject? Are you looking for ways to maintain quality sleep for general well-being and healthy living? Remember,a doctor is an appropriate person to offer relevant advice for the maintenance of quality sleep and solution to sleep difficulties. Do you want to contact the Orthopaedic Sleep Consultant, Dr Charles Uzodimma, kindly send your request to [emailprotected] OR Whatsapp 08129982143.

Vitafoam Nigeria Plc is the first foam manufacturing company in Nigeria to partner with a sleep expert to educate Nigerians on quality sleep for healthy living. The proudly Nigerian company is truly passionate about sleep and general well-being, and continues to consistently provide Nigerians with quality products that offer great comfort.

To learn more about Vitafoam, please visit

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Fasting and its Positive Effect on Sleep - Tribune Online

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