I’m looking for a sleep hack that works – is this diet the real deal?
Douse your pillow with lavender. Keep your bedroom on the cooler side. Always wear socks to bed. What do these all have in common? They’ve been said to support sleep (although for some, the verdict is still out!).
As you may have noticed, this month we have a bit of a slumber theme going on, as we help you build your very own Sleep Support Toolkit.
From experts to sleep tips – we’ve got it all. Today we’re taking a closer look at the diet making some serious sleep claims… even overtaking intermittent fasting!
Introducing to you: Circadian Fasting
What is circadian fasting?
Believe it or not, what we eat is as important as when we eat it. Late-night meals can throw your whole body 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.
Why does it work?
Every cell in the body follows 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 melatonin to decrease, but in the evening darkness and a certain amount of time without food make it increase. Sounds simple, right?
Not quite so.
What’s the issue?
A few fun inventions such as digital screens, light bulbs and an almost never-ending supply of food means the following: melatonin has been (seriously) disrupted.
What does circadian fasting do?
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 ‘circadian fast’?
Eat between a 12 hour period, closest to the suns rise and set time (e.g. 7 am-7 pm)
Make breakfast your biggest meal
Don’t skip lunch! (Fasting in the day throws your rhythm out)
Aim to have 75% of your daily nutrition before 3 pm
Consume a variety of healthy wholefoods during mealtimes
If all this seems a little over the top when it comes to supporting melatonin production – 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 low fuss, the packs below are loaded with everything from soothing lavender oil to calm your body, SLEEP Superfood Powder that increases your melatonin levels (naturally), and an e-book loaded with the answers to all your sleep questions.