Can we sleep while fasting?
Better sleep through fasting?
Eating and sleeping are closely related and both follow a day-night rhythm: at night, when we sleep, we usually don't eat anything. Most people eat breakfast shortly after they get up and have dinner a few hours before bed. Many cannot imagine falling asleep without dinner.
Then how does fasting affect the quality of sleep?
Problems falling asleep and short nights are well-known side effects of fasting, but many fasters also report that fasting helps them sleep better.
One study examined the effects of fasting for several days on sleep. 15 healthy volunteers fasted for seven days. It was found that participants woke up less often during the fast at night. Periodic extremity movements were also significantly reduced. Periodic limb movements are small muscle movements (usually in the legs) during sleep that can affect sleep. The fewer these movements take place, the deeper and more restful sleep is usually.
The participants also stated that they slept better than usual while fasting. During the day they could concentrate better, felt more energetic and more balanced.
The results of this pilot study suggest that fasting generally has a positive effect on sleep. There can be many reasons why not everyone shares this experience. The quality of sleep is strongly influenced by lifestyle. For example, deviations in the daily routine during fasting could also have an impact on the quality of sleep and not just the fasting itself.
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