SP Premium
150,000-199,999 SparkPoints 156,351

Sleeping and Eating

Thursday, April 27, 2017


Above is the link to Susan Peirce Thompson's weekly vlog about how bright line eating (BLE) improves your sleep. Which in turn helps you control your eating.

It's interesting!

Many Sparkies have trouble with sleeping. Including me, from time to time.

And many Sparkies have experimented with intermittent fasting. Including me, from time to time.

SPT points to new research which establishes that our sleep is affected by circadian rhythms controlled by a particular structure within the hypothalamus. And that circadian rhythms aren't just about light (yes, I uses light box particularly in winter: it's right over my computer).

Circadian rhythms are also affected by digestion. SPT says that if we adopt the BLE method of eating only three meals a day at the same times every day and nothing after supper, then we automatically create a lengthy period of intermittent fasting: probably 12 hours and maybe 13 or 14 hours each and every day between supper and breakfast.

Most people eat constantly during their waking hours. Most people are pretty much never not eating. SPT points to research indicating that constant grazing doesn't just pack on the pounds: it means our digestive systems never get a rest. So: we don't get restful sleep.

Some of us work shifts. Most of us experience life disruptions which would make sticking to the full BLE regimen (particularly weighing and measuring every mouthful) pretty difficult if not impossible.

Although I don't subscribe to all the BLE doctrines, I do typically refrain from eating between meals and tell myself that "hunger is not an emergency" between meals. I do typically eat a latish breakfast well after the time I wake (omelette or yogourt + berries); then eat lunch (salad and fruit) about 12-12:30; and have supper (soup and nuts and more yogourt + berries) by 6 pm. And then I don't eat again until breakfast. There is typically a good 12 hours + between my last meal of the day and my first meal of the next day. And yes: I do typically wake up as she describes without benefit of an alarm clock raring to go.

The one exception? I have been enjoying my 90% Lindt chocolate just before bed. And: I'm gonna cut that out -- have it earlier with supper if at all. See if that affects my instances of night time wakefulness. But, just as I don't consider hunger to be an emergency, I don't consider night time wakefulness to be an emergency either -- more an oh well oh well oh well, a bit of reading until I can fall back to sleep . . . no point in agitating myself, sleep will return . . . .

Brain science: such fascinating new information coming our way pretty constantly. Helping us continuously change up our approaches to find what works best for each of us! Weight loss and MAINtenance: pretty much an experiment of one.
Share This Post With Others
Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Always an experiment of 1! Funny, even understanding the word "breakfast" I never see not eating during the night as intermittent fasting. Just the way my brain works I guess! I'm working on that 3 meals with no snacking. but, finding I need to eat more protein but must include complex carbs for blood sugar reasons.... An experiment of 1!
    1063 days ago
    I am still lucky to sleep well most nights. Caffeine is something I have to avoid after lunch. I have always eaten 3 meals a day with almost no snacking, but sometimes I am really hungry at 3 or 4 in the afternoon. I have recently discovered if I have some protein at that time it is a big help. NOT carbs which is what my brain tells me will be best! If I eat a piece of leftover chicken or fish it takes the grumble out of the tummy so I can concentrate on fixing dinner.

    I bought SPT's book, but find her too rigid. I think her plan is what she and probably many others need, but I need to be able to eat out with my mother on the spur of the moment. And I am NOT taking my kitchen scale with me into restaurants! My mother would be humiliated! But I cheer on anyone else that chooses to do so! (Mom is 90 and still mows her own yard until the hottest part of summer. I think I will follow her lead for a long and healthy life!)
    1065 days ago
  • NANCY-
    SPT does give us a lot to think about.
    Only if I could get a good night's sleep.
    1065 days ago
    I don't normally eat after supper. But only a 11-12 hour 'fast', because I eat a pretty later supper, usually around 7 or 7:30pm, by the time I get home from work and cook. And breakfast around 6:30am. For a year or more I went to the gym at 6:30, delaying eating anything (or drinking coffee!) till about 8am. Since I wake up hungry, that was hard at first, but I got used to it - and it made me really look forward to breakfast and coffee! I'm lucky to not (yet) have problems sleeping...
    1065 days ago
    brain research is my go-to reading. I am completely fascinated with it.

    Been suffering with wakefulness lately but am working hard at remembering it's not an emergency. I know the conflict within is the culprit and even that is something I just have to say Oh Well about. Time will resolve most of my issues and the time is 6 o'clock, September 1, 2017. I believe I will spend the whole day sitting at the front desk, chatting with library patrons.
    1065 days ago
    Very interesting! Thank you.
    1065 days ago
  • _LINDA
    I have a very simple reason for making sure my supper is early and that I eat nothing after it -I don't like the thought of acid reflux and trying to lay down with something churning around in your stomach simply doesn't work. I am uncomfortable just with all the water I have to drink with my bedtime medication.
    Can't get enough of that 90% Lindt chocolate. I have to fight for it. Every time it goes on sale it gets sold out quickly. Many is the time I have gone to the store and found the shelf empty. It got so bad a couple of stores limit it to four now so I do find some.
    1065 days ago
    I might be weird - I can't sleep with food in my stomach. Wake up all night feeling ill, and wake up in the morning still feeling sick to my stomach. Just can't do it. I need at least 3 or 4 hours after dinner before I can go to bed!
    1065 days ago
    I also eat 3 meals a day with no snacking and nothing after dinner. I typically experience a fasting window of 13 - 16 hours. And, sleep? Generally not an issue for me.
    1065 days ago
    The respite not only gives your digestive system a break, it cuts down on going to bed with GERD (heartburn). As you get older, that becomes more and more of an issue.

    1065 days ago
    1066 days ago
  • BJAEGER307
    Interesting. Something I will look into. Thanks for the share.
    1066 days ago
    Thanks for the information. I have to be more consistent in my mealtimes.
    1066 days ago
  • GABY1948
    Interesting indeed! Thanks!
    1066 days ago
    Sounds reasonable!
    I do the 3 meals a day schedule and I almost always sleep very well,
    my fasting window is 13 hours or more.
    There may be a correlation, keeping up a reliable rhythm of eating may enhance other circadian rhythms in body and mind.

    1066 days ago
    That is fantastic that you give your digestive tract a break for 12 hours! Your food plan is great! I am so proud of you! Happy Thursday! I hope you have a beautiful day!
    Hugs and love, xoxo
    1066 days ago
  • no profile photo CHAYOR73
    Interesting info, thank you! emoticon
    1066 days ago
  • no profile photo CD14895051
    I find that if I cut out all snacking, everything goes better: sleep, relaxation, play and work. Good reminder for those of us who run into the kitchen for ideas about what to do all day.
    1066 days ago
    Thanks for the link!

    Oh I remember working one week of day shift, one week of afternoon shift and one week of night shift and the cycle repeated. What an eating and sleeping disaster!!! working one shift consistently did't bother me, but switching every week was killer!

    I do tend to wake and sleep @ the same times daily, even on weekends, so the eating times are also pretty predictable.

    1066 days ago
    I always enjoy your blogs! I have always said that our bodies are our own personal science experiment. We know our own bodies the best . . . . and we have to sort through all of the information out there and figure out what to keep and what not to keep. It's not a one size fits all.
    1066 days ago
    Sleep has always been my forte...it's a rare night when I have difficulty falling asleep, much to the chagrin of others who struggle...lol

    1066 days ago
  • no profile photo CD15520036
    Lots of interesting information again. Thank you.
    1066 days ago
    Are you vegetarian? Or primarily? Dark chocolate has some good points but it keeps me awake if I eat it close to bedtime. We really are what we eat I guess. So why does that continue to surprise me from time to time?
    1066 days ago
    Interesting concepts :)
    1066 days ago
  • Add Your Comment to the Blog Post

    Log in to post a comment

    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.