Intermittent fasting has many benefits, along with increased gut health, weight loss and even better sleep.
So how does this work? When you practice intermittent fasting your body has time to regenerate its cells, your digestive system rests and your body’s circadian rhythms get a reset, enhancing better quality sleep.
Intermittent fasting doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to disrupt your three meals a day either. It simply means that you give your body a 12-16 break from eating.
For example, you might have your last meal of the day at 6pm and your first meal the next day at 6am, giving your body a 12 hour break to reset.
This means you’re unlikely to eat late into the night, which plays havoc with our sleep. A good night’s sleep can be compromised if our stomach is full and we’re lying down trying to digest a meal.
Preferably you should have your last meal at least four hours before bedtime so your digestive system has sufficient time to rest before sleep.
Time restricted eating also strengthens our 24-hour circadian clocks and therefore improves the time we are asleep, how long we stay asleep and how refreshed we feel upon waking.
You may need to play with your fasting windows. If you are fasting over 12 hours and are waking up throughout the night hungry then perhaps reduce your fasting window down a few hours.
Drinking enough water throughout the day and eating mindfully will also help your body tune into your satiety cues so you aren’t struggling with hunger throughout the night.
Following a plant-rich, high in fibre diet with plenty of fresh fruit, veggies and lean protein and high complex carbs is also the key to feeling satisfied throughout your fasting periods.