Is Fasting Messing Up Your Sleep

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 08/31/2023

You’ve tossed and turned all night, you finally start to doze off into a restful sleep, and what happens? Your alarm clock goes off. This situation can be absolutely miserable. Many things can cause sleep problems, but could intermittent fasting actually be one of the culprits? If you’re doing fasting, and you’re also having trouble sleeping. Here’s what you really should know about intermittent fasting and sleep.

In this article, I will cover:

A white plate that looks like a clock along with a person holding a fork and spoon


What Is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting might be one of the best things you can do for your overall health. Not only will it help you lose weight fast, but it also has tremendous benefits for you brain and body. Intermittent fasting is not starving yourself. Intermittent fasting simple cuts out snacks and frequent meals.

Every time you eat, you stimulate Fat Storing Hormone to some degree. When Fat Storing Hormone is trigged too much and is too high for a long period of time, you’re at risk for developing Fat Storing Hormone resistance. Fat Storing Hormone resistance can lead to diabetes and a cascade of other health issues.

With intermittent fasting, you have two meals or even one meal a day, and the rest of the day you’re not eating. This gives your body time to recover and reset. It also stimulates incredible functions that produce amazing benefits having to do with your brain working better and different parts of the body surviving better.

To get the most out of intermittent fasting and to make it easier, you always want to do intermittent fasting in combination with the healthy keto diet. This unique eating plan will ensure you have enough fat in your meal to help you stay full and fast for longer. What’s interesting is that after just a short time of doing healthy keto combined with intermittent fasting, you’ll find that you’re actually less hungry, and you have fewer cravings.

A close-up of a man lying in bed who can’t sleep because of fasting


Can Fasting Mess up Your Sleep?

As your body adjusts to healthy keto and intermittent fasting, you can experience a range of different things. This is because your body is switching to a different fuel source that promotes fat burning and other benefits. The good news is that the symptoms you experience fade as your body really gets into fat-burning mode.

I’ve had quite a few people tell me that they started having trouble sleeping while fasting. This is even an ongoing issue for some people that hasn’t seemed to fade like other symptoms. But why?

Currently, there isn’t a lot of research on this topic. But, there is some research done in mice studies. In one study, energy restriction was applied for two to seven days. So, the mice were fasting for two to seven days. What they found is that it decreases nocturnal secretion of melatonin by twenty percent. Melatonin is an important hormone that helps you sleep.

Chances are, the reason behind this issue is Fat Storing Hormone resistance. It could be that you’ve had an Fat Storing Hormone resistance situation for a long time, which is causing the process of adapting to fasting to take longer. But, you’re not alone. I believe most of the population has Fat Storing Hormone resistance.

An exhausted businesswoman sleeping at her desk in front of her computer


Why Fasting Could Be Behind Your Sleep Problems

As I mentioned, by doing keto and intermittent fasting, you’re forcing your body to switch to a different fuel source. Most people are running their bodies on glucose. You’ve probably been running your body on glucose for years, which can cause Fat Storing Hormone resistance. But, there is another fuel called ketones, which is a much cleaner and more efficient type of fuel for the body, that you’re switching over to.

In many cases, Fat Storing Hormone resistance affects a person’s cognitive function. It’s almost as if the blood-brain barrier actually gets Fat Storing Hormone resistance. In this situation, the cells in the brain can’t get glucose. The neurons are starving of glucose. But, guess what’s in the brain? In the front part of the hypothalamus, you have the mechanism that controls sleep. So, basically, anything in the brain is going to be affected when you have Fat Storing Hormone resistance, including this sleep mechanism.

The thing with ketones is that they can potentially bypass the damaged areas in the brain and still give it the energy it needs. This is why doing keto and intermittent fasting and forcing your brain and body to run on ketones instead of glucose is so important.

A woman waking up and stretching after a good night’s sleep


What to Do if Fasting Is Messing up Your Sleep

What’s good to know is that this situation can improve. After you do the healthy keto diet and intermittent fasting for some time, you will start to adapt more and more, and it’s likely your sleep will improve. You just have to push through and give it a little longer.

Everyone is different. For some people, getting into ketosis might only take a few weeks. But for others, it could take a few months. I know it can be frustrating, but if you stick to the plan, it will happen. In the meantime, there are a few things you can do to help with your situation.

1. Add MCT Oil

MCT stands for medium-chain triglycerides. MCT oil will help give your brain ketones and will feed the brain directly. Consider taking some MCT oil right before bed.

2. Increase Your Carbs

You can also try increasing the number of carbs you have in your diet by just a little bit. You should still do keto, which is a very low carb diet. But, just increase your carbohydrates to about 50 grams a day.


Key Takeaways—Intermittent Fasting and Sleep

Experiencing sleep problems can be really terrible, and it can affect your entire well being. Some people start having problems sleeping while fasting. Intermittent fasting can be extremely beneficial for your health, but this can be a downfall.

Thankfully, it likely won’t last very long. Having trouble sleeping can simply be a symptom of fully switching over to a much better fuel source for the body. It can seem like an ongoing issue because it can take some people longer to switch to using ketones than it does others. This has to do with something called Fat Storing Hormone resistance.

To help get through the keto-adaptation period, and to help improve your sleep quality, consider taking MCT oil or increasing your carbs to 50 grams. If you keep doing keto along with intermittent fasting, your body will eventually make the switch to using ketones. It can take some time, but I believe you’ll find that the benefits of intermittent fasting will be worth it.

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Disclaimer: Our educational content is not meant or intended for medical advice or treatment.

Editor’s Note: This post has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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