View Full Version : Sleep loss side effect

Jeremy Jones
01-19-2007, 04:14 PM
Pulled a solid 27 hr fast yesterday, and it felt pretty good.

I have been doing 20 - 24 hr fasts now for a couple months and they have been easier than I expected. My recent schedule has me doing a long fast like this about 3 - 4 days a week. Such as: Sunday finish dinner by 8pm, eat Mon at 6pm. Keep feeding through Tues night around 6 or 8. Fast on Wed. . . you get the idea.

I currently have an injured lower back. And I keep doing that thing where you think you're fine, so you do a little workout, then you hurt, so you rest, then you think you're fine, so you try a workout, etc. Long story short, I haven't been working out as much as I'd like. I ate like a Cartman at a backyard tea party through the holidays, but I was still able to throw a few fasts in there.

I didn't gain any weight and my muscle mass has stayed about the same.


Now I gave you that background to tell you about this crazy side effect I had last night.

I finished eating Wed before 6pm, I fasted (with 1 cup black coffee, two cups of chai tea) all day. Worked out with a client at 6pm on Wed. Started making some plyo boxes, realized that 24 hr fasts, workouts and power tools don't mix, so I went and got some grub (reasonably well balanced macro nutrient wise). I ate at 9. Felt great. Finished the plyo boxes, put up a wall ball target, cleaned up, went home and ate some more at 11:30 pm. Waited around a while (not tired), tricked my kitten into doing plyo exercises and sprints. Took my ZMA and went to bed at 12:30. . .

No sleep.

1:00am. . . No sleep.

I got up at 1:30 and started to read in bed. This usually knocks me out in about 2.3 paragraphs or 4 pages if it is a Frank Miller Graphic novel. No dice. I proceeded to read until 5am, got through about 100 pages of this tiny ass print book when I got up and went to the gym to administer Fight Gone Bad to our 6am class.

I still haven't slept (it is about 4pm right now). I don't feel super groggy or tore up. I have had a few more cups of coffee today, and plenty of 'good' food.

Now I tend to pick a schedule that keeps me running lean on sleep, getting an average of 5-6 hrs a night [ducks the throwing of "Lights OUT!" by Robb]. This last week I have been getting closer to normal amounts so I wasn't sleep deprived before yesterday.

The only thing I can think of is that when those calories hit my body, my metabolic system had a field day. The night I got home, I did have some cookies for desert (damn good homemade cookies, and no I don't feel guilty). They had chocolate chips in them, and sugar for sure, but damn not enough to keep me up all night. Especially after being up from 6:30am to 12:30 am (including a workout and some manual labor).

It kind of reminds me of Pierre's experience after he body checked that car going 30mph (not the accident part, the part where he couldn't sleep, especially when fasting. I don't know if they are related, but that is when I remember reading about it.)

I wonder if you are doing longer fasts, if you should really avoid feeding hours before bed. Maybe avoid certain foods? Maybe I just shouldn't have inhaled that 1.3 kilos at lunch (and I thought I was being conservative)?

Dave Van Skike
01-20-2007, 04:14 AM
I have noticed and have had it seconded by ohers that ZMA seems to have a"window" for me,. If I'm not in the rack within 20 minutes of ingestion, goodbye sleep. May not be the sole cause but it could be a contributing factor.

Robb Wolf
01-21-2007, 03:57 PM
Interesting stuff. Not sure what to recomend as normally a refeeding will knock people out. keep us posted!

Jeremy Jones
01-22-2007, 11:45 AM
Well the rest of the weekend was better.

I didn't get to sleep until about 10:30 on Friday night. I was able to sleep until 6:30 am when I had to get up to go teach. I taught until 4pm, then had some family obligation to go to, got to bed around 10:30 again. This time I had to wake up at 6:40am, so I could run around in the woods and play soldier most of the day.

Went to bed last night at. . . 10:30 again! I swear I keep trying to get to bed earlier, but I just have too much to do. I got up at 5:30 this morning to help run the workout at my gym.

Bottom line is that I am still feeling fairly sleep deprived, but I am sleeping. I have forgone the long duration fasting, although I took some ZMA last night and felt fine.

Frank Needham
01-22-2007, 04:11 PM
I've had something similar happen to me, not quite as severe though. It usually starts with getting dehydrated then it becomes worse from caffeine. Takes about 2-3 days after to recover.