No sleep on fast nights

This topic contains 22 replies, has 15 voices, and was last updated by  LJoyce 7 years, 1 month ago.

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  • Hi , I’ve been doing this fasting on and off as needed for a year plus. It works but oh dear the wear and tear on my body. The starving drives me mad on fasting days, I am so lethargic I can only sit around. And the night of the fast my body wakes me throughout the night craving food so I normally eat at 5 ish. The next non fast day I feel washed out . Has anyone else experienced this?

    Hi Fiona,

    Sorry to hear that! I’ve struggled a lot with sleep on fast days, but from the opposite reason, being that I’ve had too much energy. Are you sure you drink enough? Try water with lemon throughout the day, herbal teas, etc – both fill you up, too. As for food, what do you normally eat? And do you only have one meal?

    I have felt odd on the following day, too – but I think that comes from interrupted/lack of sleep.
    A xx

    I agree with Ally, if I wake up on a fasting night I often realize it’s thirst waking me up, not hunger. Just last night I was up at 1am to get a drink, guess I hadn’t had enough liquid during the day. gotta watch that.

    I find I wake in the night after a fast day, sometimes with a headache. I think I drink enough but maybe I don’t.

    I agree with this, I had a terrible night with a horrible buzzing headache after my last fasting day. I then realised that I had only 4 hot drinks during the day and no water. I definitely think I was dehydrated.

    Hello Fiona, I have similar wakeful nights but not with headaches. I do drink several mugs of caffeine-free (Red Bush) tea with my self- imposed skimmed milk ration, so I’m not dehydrated. I just can’t sleep and find I am planning my breakfast. I eat all my 500 calories after 7pm and get through the day better if I don’t eat anything until then, only black coffee or tea. I sleep very well the following night, but that will be no consolation if you have to get up early and are still tired.

    2 years on the 5:2 – love it, sub 12 stone but ONE PROBLEM remains….

    I wake up at 2am and can’t get back to sleep..have tried drinking tea, lemon, water, camomile etc. Feels like I could run a marathon, so much energy but I want to sleep.

    Any ideas please, I plan to be 5:2 for ever so really want to crack this! thanks

    Same here. I usually get up at 2 AM and have a glass of water with Himalaya salt and half a teaspoon of butter, coconut oil or olive oil. This little amount of fat is enough to deal with the feeling of hunger. If that is the reason I will fall asleep soon after going back to bed.

    I feel the same way the night of the fast. But I’m not really tired the next day.

    Seeing what I wrote about the butter I resolved to eat the butter and drink the salted water BEFORE going to bed. No more problems sleeping 🙂

    Hi everyone., I’ve only been doing this for a couple of weeks, and had trouble sleeping in the second week, not specifically on fasting days and not because of hunger, it seems to have gotten back to normal now, but shall see if it comes back. And.. I’ve lost 12lb since starting! Whoot!!

    I read your post about salt, butter and oil in the middle of the night. I couldn’t think of anything worse. I think I’ll stick to my half a Stilnox ?Yours is more natural but mine is more palatable ?
    I have nasty nights quite often where I can’t sleep, even after hard physical work. It’s pretty annoying even when you’re not hungry!

    SOCIAL_BUTTERFLY Well done on the weight loss ?

    Hi athunusia, thanks for the well done 🙂

    I couldn’t eat butter or drink salted water or oil either… sorry miek… What’s a stilnox?

    Hi Social_Butterfly
    Stilnox is a sleep facilitator. It’s a drug that puts you to sleep very well if taken once in bed. By 15mins I’m asleep. It has a bad name here in Australia because sportsmen have been caught taking it with alcohol. Plus some people can have a bad reaction and have been know to get up in their sleep and start cooking or one actually drove a car!! These are very rare but I have been taking them for over eight years and only once had a bad dream early on.
    If I don’t sleep I tend to get very anxious and melancholy.

    My first fast day is going to be tomorrow. I just decided right here right now!!

    Good luck on your first fast day!

    I’m glad my sleep has returned to me!! 😉

    I find drinking fresh coffee in the morning up until lunch time helps me, it has to be good coffee it’s the only way I can drink it black. I don’t drink it in the afternoon – didn’t want it to disturb my sleep!! Xx

    I can’t drink coffee much at all. It messes with my tummy. Now my gall bladder is gone its even worse.
    They say to stay off iPads and iPhones etc an hour before trying to sleep. Something about the light emitted. I know if I read a book I’m more likely to drop off!
    Sleep well fellow insomniacs ???

    Oh and thanks for the luck too ??

    We drink a small ( a whisky size glass) of milk about a hour before going to bed we find this helps. This is on top of our 500/600 calories but it doesn’t stop the weight loss. Michael or Mimi said this at the start of 5.2 “people may find it helps with sleep”

    Give it a go

    Do you recommend taking sleep aids on fast nights? What about L-tryptophan or melatonin or benadryl? I can’t stand the sleeplessness

    Melatonin will give your brain a signal to sleep about 2 hours after you take it. Placebo effects may kick in sooner. If you want the real effects at the time you actually are trying to sleep, take melatonin about 2-3 hours BEFORE you USUALLY go to sleep. If you don’t have a “usual” sleep time, your body will find it difficult to use the melatonin in a predictable way. Keep light very low (VERY low — like, BARELY enough to read by) if you are getting near bedtime. Light will block the effects of melatonin, so you need dimness to get the effect of it.

    You don’t need much. Most over-the-counter formulations give you 10 – 100 times as much (or more) as your body/brain would normally produce, so pick the smallest amount available on the shelf of the pharmacy or natural food store or wherever you pick it up. It will be plenty. Most of the unused melatonin will simply be pee-ed out when you urinate.

    Don’t use Benadryl. It’s bad for your sleep architecture, although it certainly will help you fall asleep, it won’t help your quality of sleep. Also it’s got a lot of other side effects, none great. I’d avoid it.

    Keep your wake time super regular, even on weekends, and don’t stay in bed if you’re not sleepy.

    Good luck.

    Hi agree that the level of light near bedtime has an effect.
    I’m a terrible sleeper. I take hours to get to sleep and often also have trouble staying asleep.
    We had a storm here is Adelaide after Christmas and I was without power for 2 days. That meant no TV or computer screens and the only light was daylight or candles. (And although you can read by candle light it’s difficult.)
    Despite the fact that I had to sleep without a fan or air conditioner I actually had 2 good nights sleep.
    I’m trying to incorporate some of the power blackout features into my evening routine – especially having some time away from backlit screens in the 2 hours before bed.

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