Reasons why you get sleepy easily when fasting and 3 ways to overcome it

Jakarta, CNBC Indonesia – Drowsiness often attacks people who fast. Even before fasting and carrying out the same activities, you usually don't feel sleepy. So what's the cause?

This condition is normal as a result of changes in the body's circadian rhythm or biological clock. Apart from changes in meal times during fasting, there are also differences in sleep times. Most people usually sleep late and wake up before dawn to eat sahur. These changes in sleep patterns can affect overall health and make fasting more challenging.

“Sleep patterns become disturbed during fasting because people change their eating and drinking patterns in the afternoon and evening. This shift affects circadian rhythm hormones, causing sleep disturbances and reducing sleep quality,” said Dr Brian England, Chiropractor and functional medicine expert at the treatment center integrative Wellth, as quoted Gulf News.

Sleep affects feelings of fullness and hunger

“It's commonly known that our bodies function better when we get enough good quality sleep, but research has shown that sleep also affects our satiety and hunger levels. According to this research, sleep deprivation is partly associated with changes in the appetite-regulating hormones leptin and ghrelin , which can make fasting more challenging,” says Dr. Vaishal Shah at the Cleveland Clinic Sleep Disorders Center.

Studies also find that without adequate and consistent quality sleep, people are more susceptible to infections in general, which then take longer to recover from.

Then there are spillover effects that affect heart health, mood, memory and cognitive function. Additionally, lack of sleep can increase the risk of accidents.

What should you do when you are sleepy while fasting?

The good news is that sleep quality can be improved with a few simple actions.

According to Dr Shah, there are three factors that underlie sleep quality, namely sleep schedule, uninterrupted sleep periods, and sleep hygiene.

1. Set a sleep schedule

The first way to get quality sleep is to maintain a consistent bedtime and wake-up time. This method can help regulate your circadian rhythm or biological clock.

You can divide the hours of sleep needed into several sessions. When doing this, Dr Shah recommends that you allocate a longer period of uninterrupted sleep, at least five to six hours. Other sessions can be used to make up for the hours of sleep needed.

“Studies have shown that people who are sleep deprived and suffer from poor sleep quality can benefit from napping for at least 45 minutes. They can have better cognitive and physical performance than people who do not nap or nap for a shorter duration ,” said Dr England.

2. Turn off the gadget screen

Sleep hygiene can help you achieve better sleep. Sleep hygiene includes turning off screens at least an hour before bed, and ensuring that the bedroom is a quiet, relaxing place.

3. Reduce caffeine, fatty foods and sugar

Doctors also recommend reducing caffeine intake, especially since too much caffeine can make it difficult to sleep and also hinder hydration. In addition, fatty and oily foods that are high in sugar can delay sleep and reduce sleep quality because the body works overtime to digest food.

Focus on healthy foods at dawn that will provide slow-release energy throughout the day, such as whole grains and protein. Avoid foods that are too sweet because they can disrupt sleep in the short term, and can make you feel more tired later in the day.

[Gambas:Video CNBC]

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