9

votes

Intermittent Fasting and Circadian Rhythms

Answered on April 08, 2015
Created August 04, 2011 at 3:25 PM

Has anyone else found that intermittent fasting results in poor sleep quality? I started skipping breakfast, and right away found that I wasn't sleeping as well, leading me to wonder if breakfast plays an important role in regulating the body's internal clock.

Also, when I don't eat anything at all at night, it is harder to sleep because I have nothing in my stomach.

Anyone else had a similar experience? Do I need to give my body time to adjust to my new eating schedule? Would eating, say, a little bit of fruit in the morning and a pre-bed snack help, or would that prevent me from experiencing the benefits of IF?

Thanks!!!

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on August 10, 2011
at 01:16 AM

Why's that? When would you go without food?

11838116de44ae449df0563f09bd3d73

(655)

on August 09, 2011
at 11:27 PM

I wouldn't fast by skipping breakfast if losing fat is a goal.

4f42ed5550f1a9802f170d423cda7324

(48)

on August 06, 2011
at 03:45 PM

Annie--My IF window is like 11 to 5-ish... and I go to bed around 11, so I'm usually pretty hungry by then.

4f42ed5550f1a9802f170d423cda7324

(48)

on August 06, 2011
at 03:43 PM

-intermittent=stopping/starting at irregular intervals, OR =stopping and starting at regular intervals; i think a lot of people doing IF prefer regular intervals (1 day of eating, one day fasting, of e.g.). maybe it's better to change it up, i don't know. -yes, if i'm eating, i'm breaking the fast, hence the question--what i'm wondering is if i'll continue to experience benefits similar to fasting if i eat, say, an apple. thoughts?

74f5d2ff6567edd456d31dfb9b92af61

(5227)

on August 04, 2011
at 11:02 PM

I love this answer. xD

C83820cb34dbc91951afb462670e1533

(113)

on August 04, 2011
at 08:06 PM

I'm very interested in this also. As far as I know food and (sun)light play a very big part in the circadian rhythm. And since there is little sun around here I wonder if I might feel better eating breakfast..

6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on August 04, 2011
at 04:44 PM

Are you skipping breakfast AND not eating late? What is your IF window?

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7 Answers

4
667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on August 04, 2011
at 04:09 PM

When I IFed I would skip breakfast, eat PWO (lunch) and then dinner. Dinner was right before bed so I was going to bed on a full stomach. I always slept very well that way. In the morning, while not full, I was not hungry. Prolly cuz the pre-bed dinner.

11838116de44ae449df0563f09bd3d73

(655)

on August 09, 2011
at 11:27 PM

I wouldn't fast by skipping breakfast if losing fat is a goal.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on August 10, 2011
at 01:16 AM

Why's that? When would you go without food?

2
D3ff004d4a0c42b67cc2c49a5ee9c0f3

(5801)

on August 04, 2011
at 10:07 PM

"Do I need to give my body time to adjust to my new eating schedule?"

--If you're using a schedule, it is not intermittent

Would eating, say, a little bit of fruit in the morning and a pre-bed snack help, or would that prevent me from experiencing the benefits of IF?

--If you're eating it's not fasting.

74f5d2ff6567edd456d31dfb9b92af61

(5227)

on August 04, 2011
at 11:02 PM

I love this answer. xD

4f42ed5550f1a9802f170d423cda7324

(48)

on August 06, 2011
at 03:43 PM

-intermittent=stopping/starting at irregular intervals, OR =stopping and starting at regular intervals; i think a lot of people doing IF prefer regular intervals (1 day of eating, one day fasting, of e.g.). maybe it's better to change it up, i don't know. -yes, if i'm eating, i'm breaking the fast, hence the question--what i'm wondering is if i'll continue to experience benefits similar to fasting if i eat, say, an apple. thoughts?

1
27361737e33ba2f73ab3c25d2699ad61

(1880)

on August 04, 2011
at 10:12 PM

I had been doing 18 hour fasts and simply skipping breakfast and then eating very late lunch + supper. Last week I tried an extended 23 hour fast but skipped supper instead and found it much much better. I never feel hungry during fasts because I eat vlc normally and I think this makes fasting easier hungerwise. My hubby eats tons of carbs and simply cannot skip meals without hunger and fatigue. My goal is to do 1 or 2 24 hour fasts per month - maybe once per week eventually. All I have during the fast is black coffee and clear teas (green/oolong/black) and water + salt. Going to bed with an empty stomach really seems to improve deep restorative sleep. When I was doing the reverse and fasting most of the morning and afternoon -- I would overeat late in the day and this does a job on restorative sleep for me.

0
Medium avatar

on April 08, 2015
at 01:39 PM

I have the same experience. I have done one 16 hour fast and 1 20 hour fast recently. All went surprisingly well both times, no hunger, it was a pleasurable experience actually, better mood, and so on. However, when it was time to sleep (I had broken my fast for 4 hours by then and had eaten several meals) I had trouble going to sleep, the way one can have trouble going to sleep when being both tired and hyper at the same time. I basically had trouble winding down, which I dont usually have. So I started to suspect maybe I shouldnt do fasting for some more time since it might be an indication that something is wrong with my adrenals, etc (I have had some such issues in the past, nothing severe though)?

Hard to say if this is normal or an indication that I should stay off fasting for a some time more?

0
1d747827c9dfd361224062229a7b7534

on March 26, 2015
at 01:30 AM

Unfortunately, skipping breakfast goes against your natural circadian rhythms... causes a circadian phase delay.?? Probably not good in the long-term.

0
66974b2cb291799dcd661b7dec99a9e2

(11121)

on August 04, 2011
at 08:34 PM

I IF 24-36 hours at a time, do not have trouble sleeping at all, in fact I feel my sleep is better with no digestion going on. I have gone 72 hours multiple times with no negative effects. I have been LC to VLC for years.

0
8949bf87b0e0aefcad10f29975e4fa2b

(8989)

on August 04, 2011
at 03:41 PM

I had poor everything quality. I was out of whack, with sleep, nighttime eating, early morning hunger, but no hunger upon waking.

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