Looking for a sleep hack that actually works? Douse your pillow in lavender. Keep your bedroom cool. Always wear socks to bed. All of these remedies are said to help support sleep (but the juries still out!). This month we have a bit of a slumber theme going on, as we help you build your very own Sleep Support Toolkit. Today we take a closer look at the popular new diet on the block making some serious sleep claims… it’s even overtaken intermittent fasting!
What is Circadian Fasting?
Believe it or not, when you eat is just as important as what you eat. Late-night meals can throw your natural body clock out of whack, as research shows your metabolism changes throughout the day. In short, circadian fasting means you eat with the sun. Similar to other fasting diets, there is a prolonged period where you don’t eat. In this diet, it falls within the 12 hours of the night.
How does it work?
Your body’s cells follow what’s called a ‘circadian clock’. This dictates the timing of each cellular process over a 24-hour period, therefore becoming your circadian rhythm. One of the most important of these is the regulation of your sleep hormone, melatonin. Now we won’t get too science-y on you here, but from an evolutionary standpoint, the two main things that control these circadian processes are food and daylight.
In the morning, breakfast and sunshine cause the sleep hormone melatonin to decrease. But in the evening darkness, and a certain amount of time without eating food, make it increase. Sounds simple, right? Not quite. A few new inventions like digital screens, light bulbs and an almost never-ending supply of food means melatonin regulation has been (seriously) disrupted.
What are the benefits?
More than a sleep hack, research has shown that aligning mealtimes with your circadian rhythm can:
Improve sleep – our favourite benefit!
Lower blood pressure
Support weight loss
Reduce the risk of chronic diseases
So, how do you do it?
Eat only within a 12-hour period each day, closest to the suns rising and setting times (e.g. 7 am-7 pm)
Make breakfast your biggest meal
Don’t skip lunch! (Fasting during the day throws your rhythm out)
Aim to have 75% of your daily nutrition before 3pm
Consume a variety of healthy wholefoods during mealtimes
If all these rules seem a little over the top, we hear you! Which is why we’ve come up with a more “user-friendly” solution. Designed to support your sleep with maximum benefit and minimum fuss, our SLEEP Superfood Powder contains the highest quality, all-natural, melatonin-supporting ingredients. What’s melatonin? It’s the hormone that helps you fall asleep.
From breathing techniques to yoga flows, we’ve pulled together advice from our team of SWIISH Experts to bring you the Ultimate Sleep Toolkit to help you put those restless nights to bed.