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  • Writer's pictureKatherine Sims

Improving Sleep Couldn't Be Simpler

Updated: Dec 6, 2022

Sleep cycles are a crucial component of overall health. Research suggests that intermittent fasting can help regulate and stabilize circadian sleep cycles. It does this through the wake-promoting neurotransmitter orexin. This neurotransmitter is responsible for alertness when not sleeping. Appropriate levels of orexin during waking hours promotes wakefulness and attentiveness.

Research shows that Ramadan, fasting during daylight hours and eating during night hours, helps regulate orexin. Orexin increased during fasting, thereby increasing alertness and wakefulness. Once the fast was broken, orexin decreased, thus reducing alertness.1 Drowsiness is regularly noted after a meal. This may suggest that while fasting, the body needs to be alert to find food energy. Once the body has been fed, it no longer needs to be alert and can rest.

So enjoy the focus and alertness while you fast. Savor your slumber after you've broken your fast.

1. Almeneessier AS, Alzoghaibi M, BaHammam AA, et al. The effects of diurnal intermittent fasting on the wake-promoting neurotransmitter orexin-A. Ann Thorac Med. 2018;13(1):48-54. doi:10.4103/atm.ATM_181_17

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