The Importance of Sleep During Intermittent Fasting
July 31, 2021
Why we need sleep during intermittent fasting, and how it helps us reach our goals
Nothing beats waking up refreshed and energized after a good night’s sleep – hellooo day!
Sleep is a prerequisite for our physical and mental health. Not only does it help heal and rejuvenate, it also ups our intermittent fasting goals by helping us:
✔ Lose weight
✔ Boost energy & productivity
✔ Regulate mood
✔ Repair & restore
✔ Fight disease
Intermittent fasting and a good night’s sleep go hand-in-hand, helping you to reach your health and weight loss goals more easily. Let’s have a look how…
Slimmer with Sleep
Lose more weight by sleeping? It may sound too good to be true, but sleep plays a critical role when it comes to keeping those extra pounds off. Sleep impacts your weight by balancing hormones, regulating appetite cues, decreasing cravings, and boosting metabolism.
Research shows that when we miss out on precious sleep on our weight loss journeys, it leads us to lose less weight and encourages us to overeat. That’s because a lack of sleep increases our hunger-inducing hormone (ghrelin) and simultaneously lowers our appetite-suppressing hormone (leptin). Resulting in more cravings, and more succumbing to them.
So, how to rack up on those much-needed Zzz’s? Well, a little birdie told us that intermittent fasting might help us out here…
Rest and Repair
Ok, it might not be a little birdie but research and studies! Anyways… Our lives have us dealing with a lot – from powering through work and bureaucracy, to being present in our personal relationships. So it’s no surprise we need regular breaks to rest and repair both mentally and physically. This is where sleep comes in…
When we sleep, important processes happen such as your muscles repairing and your mind processing the day’s events. This helps you start the next day with a more rational mental state, more productivity, and physical strength to stay active and fight disease.
Essentially, sleep is like a battery, helping you recharge and reboot.
Another wonderful process that happens when we get good sleep is autophagy. That’s our body’s way to clean out and repair damaged cells so we can create new and healthy ones. Did you know that intermittent fasting boosts autophagy? In fact, it also increases our human growth hormone, shown to help adults reduce their lean body mass.
So basically, when you get good sleep and intermittently fast, you sign yourself up for all sorts of health-promoting, anti-aging and muscle-boosting goodness.
The Sleep Cycle
Now you know the magical benefits of a night’s rest combined with intermittent fasting, but did you know that they both work together in a cycle, supporting one another? Intermittent fasting helps your body flow with your natural sleep-wake cycle called the circadian rhythm.
The circadian rhythm helps your body understand when it’s time to go “night night”. Going to bed in flow with your body’s natural clock means you get a restful sleep and wake feeling refreshed and energized. Combine this with intermittent fasting and you’ll be more mentally productive and have an easier time managing your weight – bingo!
How many hours should I sleep during intermittent fasting?
Everyone is different and you may require a different amount of sleep than your peers. But in order to reap the amazing health benefits, guidelines recommend that adults get between 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Keep in mind that the quality of your sleep (not getting woken up or having a restless night) also has a major impact. So how do you get good quality snooze time?
3 Tips for a better night’s sleep
#1 Fast 2-3 hours before bed
When we start fasting a couple hours before bedtime, it helps increase our sleep hormone (melatonin). This mighty hormone helps regulate our sleep-wake cycle and encourage good quality sleep. One study found that the positive effects of intermittent fasting on sleep – less likely to wake up and having a more restful sleep – can happen in as little as a week!
#2 Get into a good pattern
That beneficial circadian rhythm is also influenced by our daily patterns. Whenever possible, wake up, go to bed, and eat at the same times each day. Fastic is a great way to find a pattern that works for you!
#3 Exercise during the day
Doing activity during the day has been shown to help you fall asleep faster at night and promote a more sound sleep. That’s because working out in the morning or earlier in the afternoon may lower levels of a brain chemical (orexin) which promotes wakefulness.
Want more tips for a better night’s rest? Check out our own Fastic Healthy Habits: Sleep Better in 21 Days.
A good snooze is essential for good health and intermittent fasting can help you sleep better. So pairing them up really is a match made in health heaven!
If you’re new to intermittent fasting, or are changing your sleep habits, keep in mind that it takes a bit of time to adjust. Give yourself some flexibility as you find a schedule that works best for you. And don’t forget that we’re always here to support you along the way!