How to Naturally Reset Your Sleep Cycle in One Night

By Will Chen on 31 July 2009 (Updated 8 June 2011) 94 comments

Not eating for 12-16 hours can help people quickly reset their sleep-wake cycle, according to a study from the Harvard Medical School. This discovery can drastically improve a person's ability to cope with jet lag or adjust to working late shifts. (See also: Tips for Sounder Sleep at Hotels)

Scientists have long known that our circadian rhythm is regulated by our exposure to light. Now they have found a second "food clock" that takes over when we are hungry. This mechanism probably evolved to make sure starving mammals don't go to sleep when they should be foraging for food.

The lead researcher Clifford Saper explains:

The neat thing about this second clock is that it can override the main clock...and you should just flip into that new time zone in one day.

It usually takes people a week to fully adjust to a new time zone or sleeping schedule. To think that this new "food clock" hack can help you change your internal clock in one day is mind boggling.

How Do You Use This Trick?

Simply stop eating during the 12-16 hour period before you want to be awake. Once you start eating again, your internal clock will be reset as though it is the start of a new day. Your body will consider the time you break your fast as your new "morning."

For example, if you want to start waking up at 2:00 am, you should start fasting between 10:00 am or 2:00 pm the previous day, and don't break your fast until you wake up at 2:00 am. Make sure you eat a nice healthy meal to jumpstart your system.

Another example: If you are traveling from Los Angeles to Tokyo, figure out when breakfast is served in Tokyo, and don't eat for the 12-16 hours before Tokyo's breakfast time.

Combined with other hacks to help you get more sleep and be more productive, you can quickly adjust to any time zone.

The Science: Why Does This Work?

Like everything else in our evolutionary history, it has to do with survival. Clifford Saper explains:

Here's a quick summary of Saper's research findings:

"For a small mammal, finding food on a daily basis is a critical mission. Even a few days of starvation, a common threat in natural environments, may result in death," the study said.

"Hence, it is adaptive for animals to have a secondary "master clock" that can allow the animal to switch its behavioral patterns rapidly after a period of starvation to maximize the opportunity of finding food sources at the same time on following days."

The shift is a survival mechanism in small mammals that forces them to change their sleeping patterns, Fuller suggests. One starvation cycle is enough to override the traditional light-based circadian clock, the study suggests.

"This new timepiece enables animals to switch their sleep and wake schedules in order to maximize their opportunity of finding food."

"A period of fasting with no food at all for about 16 hours is enough to engage this new clock," says Saper.

"So, in this case, simply avoiding any food on the plane, and then eating as soon as you land, should help you to adjust — and avoid some of the uncomfortable feelings of jet lag." CBC (quoting study published in the May 22 issue of Science).

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Guest's picture
Teaspoon

If only you'd posted this a day or two earlier! My husband is on a plane back home from Germany as I type this. I'm sure he'd have been interested to know that he should have been fasting before and during the flight!

Guest's picture
Guest

So, I wanted to say that I have now tried this technique two times now and it appears to work. At the very least, it works better than all of the alternatives I've tried, which is just staying up during normal hours, slowly rotating my time around to the new schedule.

The key, in my opinion, is the 16 hour fast. It is also the only really difficult part about doing this. In my case, I've flown back from Taiwan on a flight that leaves Taiwan at around 4 PM and arrives in Los Angeles around noon. For this to work properly, once my plane lands in Los Angeles I eat lunch, then stop eating after 2 PM and do not eat again until 6 AM the next morning.

The most difficult part are is you have to stay awake from the moment your plane lands in Los Angeles, which is normally 4 AM in the morning Taiwan time. This first day, you WILL be tired for the first few hours, maybe until 3 PM, since that is 7 AM Taiwan time. After that, you have to resist the urge to eat until 6 the next morning.

The big problems with this is exercise - if you plan on working out during this period, you will get unusually tired and you will need to eat. The best course of action is to live a sedentary, yet mildly active lifestyle until it is time to sleep. During sleep, you may wake up with incredible hunger. Just force yourself to go back to sleep and suffer through it.

For the next week, you MUST eat regular meals and go to bed and wake at the same time each day. If you don't, you will likely "mess up" all of your progress. I know that when I've missed meals everything gets "thrown off" and the "real" light-based biological clock seems to re-assert itself again. After 1 week, however, everything seems in sync and you'll be fine.

Guest's picture
Guest

My experience is kind of backwards. I have fasted quite often for the last several years. And I NOTICED that I sleep very soundly during those times. A relative told me they had a sleep-clock problem. It got me wondering if other people also noticed a correlation between fasting and sleeping. I guess they have!

Guest's picture
Leo T

On the other hand, this part:
"Once you start eating again, your internal clock will be reset as though it is the start of a new day. Your body will consider the time you break your fast as your new "morning.""

makes me wonder if part of the reason me and many other people I know that have problems sleeping at night have that problem because we routinely skip breakfast? If that happens, then I could see why I'm always very tired in the morning until I finally get lunch and then on the weekends why we all like to sleep in? Hmmm..

Guest's picture
CC

Described me to a T. Always tired in the morning no matter when I wake up but start feeling better around noon. I also can't fall asleep at night until 12am

Guest's picture
Savannah Johnston

I have this problem, and I would like to eat breakfast when I get up in the morning, the problem is I can't bring myself to eat when I feel so disgustingly tired. The very idea of food makes me feel ill.

Guest's picture

Color me skeptical. The thing is, comparing small mammal (or any other mammal) sleep patterns to humans is like comparing apples to oranges, or better still... apples to beef.

Though rat sleep hours vary, a typical rat sleeps for 20 hours out of 24 (in captivity). A dog sleeps 12-14 hours per day; a lion 13-20 hours; a chimpmunk 15; an elephant 3; a deer also 3.

As you can see, interspecies sleep pattern comparisons make little sense.

Now if we're talking about how the body balances sleep, that still isn't a good argument. Foods such as chocolate and onions are toxic to dogs, but not humans. It takes larger doses of Benadryl in dogs for the body to use it, then it does in humans. So body chemistry all the way around is different.

I've nothing against animal testing in the least, but I don't feel it serves a decent purpose. Clearly there are variances which lead to unreliable results.

In any case, I don't mean I'm not willing to give it a try, I just don't think that these studies (or so-called "research") mean anything.

Just my 2 cents which means very little of course, though I am a nurse and in the medical profession. I'm faced with these studies daily, and this only validates my opinion.. :)

Guest's picture
a large mammal

The variances you cite are completely unrelated to the study at hand. It simply does not follow that, just because chocolate is toxic to dogs (imprecise language. Dosage is everything), interspecies comparisons are unreliable.

Circadian rhythms are governed by a "master clock", the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). The molecular machinery of this nucleus is conserved amongst mammals, and is even similar to that of fruit flies.

Lots of exciting research is being done to illuminate the molecular biology of the circadian cycle, with profound relevance to the human condition--even though these studies are done on small mammals and fruit flies.

Take a look at chronotherapy, and then tell me these studies don't mean anything.

Will Chen's picture

@teaspoon

I hope this tip will come in handy for his next trip.  Airline food is nasty anyway.  Best to avoid it.  =)

@leo

A good breakfast helps jumpstart your metabolism, which probably makes you more active in the morning.  If you are active in the morning, you will also be more tired and ready for sleep at night.

@magnoliasouth

It is always good to have a healthy skpeticism for these type of studies.  I would love to know if this works for you!

 

 

Guest's picture
Peter T

Very interesting recommendations. Like some of the previous posters, I wonder how effective this trick would be for humans. If it is effective, this behavior should spread far and wide, considering how widespread inter-time-zone travel is today.

Guest's picture
mbhunter

I've been a night owl for quite some time but I've had nothing to eat since around 2 PM (EDT). I'll see if I continue waking up at 6 AM.

Guest's picture
bob brown

I've been a shift worker now for 16+ years, working 0600-1400, 1400-2200, and night shifts.

It's something you do get into the routine of naturally.

When I'm on the 0600 start, i have to be up by 0445 for the journey, I average 4-5 hours sleep that night, and yet I do not get tired during the day at all.

But this gets balanced out when I am on the 1400-2200 shift, as i tend to sleep until 0730.

It's a routine you get into, fact of life.

Nora Dunn's picture
Nora Dunn

When I fly and change time zones, I tend to set my watch to the destination's time zone immediately with regards to my sleep cycle, but I hadn't ever consciously worked with diet to help. It's worth a shot - I have a hectic flight schedule coming up in a month. Thanks!

Guest's picture

I'm headed to Beijing, China in two weeks on an exchange. I'll experiment and let you know if it works.

Guest's picture
Guest

Going to try this tomorrow! Let's see if it works!

Guest's picture
Guest

Not eating for this long a period can create real health problems for people, even those who don't have a precondition.

This type of fasting isn't good when you're on the ground. But when you're flying? It's a disaster waiting to happen.

And if you think this is manageable, ask all the folks who've been trapped, literally, on planes for hours on end with no food, no snacks. Nada.

This is NOT the method to use and I highly doubt that it works on human beings.

Fasting also affects your physical energy level and mental state, and if you fly/travel and then have to start work (as many people do after say a red-eye flight or on an overnight flight from U.S. to a foreign city, it's a perfect way to ensure that you're totally in a mental fog. And you may be so weak, you can't keep it together.

You need protein and some carbs and lots of water.

There was even a study done awhile ago about the importance of eating before a flight to ensure your health during the flight.

Bad advice. On the ground but especially in the air.

I've seen people who fast like this literally keel over.

Guest's picture

Perhaps I spend too much time editing Wikipedia articles, but to make such a strong claim requires factual support, IMO.

Since the study proposes fasting 12-16 hours ahead of breakfast, it should be universally understood that at roughly half of that fasting period will overlap a regular night's sleep, something most people normally do anyway.

Think about it, if you're living on the typical North American daytime schedule, you might have dinner at 5:30 pm, get to bed around 10pm, wake for 6am and have breakfast around 6:30am. Right there, as part of your normal routine, you went 13 hours between meals. That's why it's called "break-fast".

Extending that period to 16 or even 18 hours is not such a big deal, but it should be enough to trick your body into survival mode. Yes, you are likely to feel a bit weak in those last hours (after waking, before breakfast), that's the hunger response and is a perfectly normal somatic effect. You might get a little disoriented, and you will probably feel mentally slow.

In fact, many people do this automatically when they sleep in on a saturday, which might explain why some people are slow starters on a monday morning. As someone who used to frequently juggle between day and night cycles, I am far more affected by food than sunlight. I'm no scientist, but my anecdotal experience fully supports this theory.

Guest's picture
Guest

Your comments show great wisdom. All fasting ever does for me is make me feel sick and weak.

Guest's picture
Samuel

Oh please, 12-16 hours without food isn't even a fast.

Sure, if you're a diabetic or have health problems and take medication then it's completely different. But a normal person will have no issues.

Guest's picture
Guest

Fasting helps your body rid itself of waste and toxins that back up in your intestines. It actually gives your body a break. Unless you are a person with a serious health condition or blood sugar problems like diabetes or hypoglycemia, fasting (especially for less than a day) is NOT going to make you keel over. Just make sure to stay hydrated!

Guest's picture
Guest

This is nonsense. Your liver processes these 'toxins' and your fasting does nothing. Cite one peer reviewed scientific study that says otherwise or shut up!

Guest's picture
Don

"This is nonsense. Your liver processes these 'toxins' and your fasting does nothing. Cite one peer reviewed scientific study that says otherwise or shut up!"

Ok, I'll play: go ahead and cite one study that says it doesn't? As for peer review, do you mean the same peer reviewed scientific society that first agreed that T-Rex was a mighty hunter, and now agree that T-Rex was a puny scavenger? Just because it's peer reviewed does not lend it credibility: all it means is that someone else agrees with your statements and to some extent approves of your scientific methods. Never mind the corruption and the sheer amount of fraudulent papers already approved by peer review.

Besides which - what a boneheaded response to a clearly lively discussion.

Guest's picture
Guest

Don, shifting the burden of proof does not prove the original hypothesis. "I say that [X] is true. You don't believe me? Well show me that [X] is not true, and I will concede the point." That is NOT a good example of scientific evidence or proof.

I think that the first response to the original post was overly hostile, but I share his basic question. There have been many health claims that say that fasting, cleansing, soaking in [X], drinking a tea of [Y], sweating in a sauna, etc. will rid the body of "toxins." These "toxins" are never really defined. I, too, would like to see a rigorous study of what the "toxins" are.

I don't care much about whether it's "peer-reviewed" before publishing. But, the study should still be well documented and the data shared so that it can at least be "peer-reviewed" and "peer-critiqued" after publishing. I believe that the good experiments will be praised and that hokum will be exposed, but that only works if readers understand logic and the scientific method.

Guest's picture
Guest

The guy above me is right. I've fasted for up to four days with no adverse effects. Although I did not have the most energy in the world, I felt completely fine. After the fast, I felt great. So long as you are in good health, no harm can come of it so long as you make sure to drink PLENTY of water!

Guest's picture
Erez

Not dangerous for healthy people.
In Israel, once a year, a large portion of the entire population fasts for 24-hours, with no harmful effects.
Just break the fast softly.

And interesting theory. I'm going to test it.

Guest's picture
Keshet

I travel regularly to South Korea for work. When this research first came out (about a year an a half ago I think) I tried it: my last meal was at home before leaving (Israel), and the next at breakfast in the morning in the hotel in Seoul, about 30 hours later. Instead of the usual 2-3 days of really difficult jet lag, I was up to speed on the same day.

It requires a little discipline - only drinking water and maybe some juice on stopovers and in the plane, but if you stick it out it is really worth it - you just have to make up your mind to try it before your trip.

Guest's picture

Thanks a lot for this info.

I was seriously getting out of routine and hopefully I'll be getting into the right habit again, because sleep also affects productivity significantly.

Thanks Again!

Guest's picture
Guest

this would probably be more applicable for someone coming back to the US from asia. i find that every time i fly from SFO/LAX to hong kong, i go to sleep at around 7pm hk time, and wake up 4-5am. this is easily corrected by just "staying up late" - it's going backwards that is the tough part, as what happens when one goes from asia --> california. whenever i do that, i'm going to sleep at 8-9am and waking up at 6pm, just perfect to miss and entire's day of work. before i tried to correct this by going backwards (sleeping earlier at night), but that's just too hard - just gotta have willpower to stay up "late" until you make the huge jump forward from 8am to 10pm+.

i'll definitely try out this eating method on any trips back from asia.

Guest's picture
Curdle1

I definately will try this! I am going to be flying on Friday and hope it really works!

Guest's picture
LizH

Instead of torturing yourself during the flight, why not simply eat dinner when the locals do (e.g. 6 p.m. their time), then wake up for their natural breakfast time 12-16 hours later (6 a.m. - 10 a.m.)? This is what I'm planning to do on my trip from Boston (leaving 5 p.m. ET) to Fiji (arriving 5 a.m. Fiji time two days later).

I can't see any reason, based on this article, to make the flight more unpleasant by fasting.

Guest's picture
Guest

at home.

And disagree all you want, however, there is no need to call people names.

I'm not an idiot for warning people about fasting. It IS a problem for a lot of people and just because many of you have done it without problems (that you know of, or in the present) doesn't mean it's healthy or even advocated while flying and traveling. (And this is something I've been told by physicians. So please, spare me your "know it all" attitudes. If you're allowed anecdotal stories, so are the rest of us who disagree.

If you travel a lot, as I do, you see people in really bad shape because even trying to stay hydrated is often hard to do (you can't always carry on six bottles of water to last through a long flight and you will not have six bottles available to even buy on most flights, if you want to waste the money.)

Fasting at home, when you're not working, or doing anything demanding or physically strenuous, is one thing.

What works for some, does NOT work for others.

If fasting was the answer to jet lag, you can be sure all the celebs, etc. would be doing it (not a stretch for many, as they already don't eat). It's not proven yet to be the answer.

This is like the folks who take ambien and swear it's "safe." For them maybe, but not for a lot of people.

Guest's picture
sachin

I will surely try this as I think it will also help those who wake up late in the morning and want to wake up early in the morning like 4.0' clock

Guest's picture
Arend

Really hope I remember this when i'm goin to Brazil in spring.
The story has a logical ring to it.

but yeah it might be dangerous for people that are living in an extreme (to me) american lifestyle eating crap day in day out and sleeping too much

Guest's picture

Wow, this paragraph is good, my younger sister is analyzing such things, therefore I am going to let know her.

Guest's picture

@P.S.: niiiice. :)

Seriously guys, don't be skeptical, just do it. Prove wrong the author, or discover that indeed he's given you a tool.

I'm a fan of opportunities and options.

Guest's picture

OK, here I am committing the crime of replying to myself to point out that my subject line and my comment body are in disagreement. Arguing voices in my head?

*sigh* The War of Worlds begins Within.

Guest's picture
Guest

This is a great article, but I like airline food. Eating is the only interesting thing you can do on a flight.

Guest's picture
Guest

so true. especially when you get a choice, thats the best part of all.
extra points for a flying a foreign airline and trying out their interesting candy

Guest's picture
John Davis

OMgosh that is amazing! What a great idea.

RT
www.anon-web-tools.us.tc

Guest's picture
bite me

It is dumb to fight over it. Take the advice or not. Simple...

Will Chen's picture
Will Chen

Hi guys!

Great to see the discussion here.  I totally understand the health concerns you have about fasting, and I definitely encourage you all to talk to your doctor before trying something like this, especially if you already have existing health problems.

I've had to unpublish a few comments here.  Ironically, they are mostly in SUPPORT of the post. 

So first off, thanks for jumping in to support my blog post!  But some of the posts ended up being personal attacks on other commenters, which isn't cool.

I invite you guys to repost your comments without the personal attacks.

Cheers!

Will

Guest's picture
Gearford

I wouldnt put going 12 hours without eating as "fasting"

its just having dinner a little early.

But arguing over dieting (or anything remotely food related) with people is pointless. everyone has their opinions on what works and what dosent, and in bioligy there are exceptions to EVERY rule.

I challenge anyone who disagrees to find something, anything, that is related to a plan of eating habits and dosent turn up both success and horror stories.

only thing I would suggest for this is before you go to bed or after you wake up, have an electrolyte pill (a pinch of salt will do, in a pinch) because it would seem pretty common sense that halting the intake of nutrients while maintaining the intake of water would lead to water poisioning if you dont have a lot of nutrition in the meals you happen to eat before beginning your fast.

Guest's picture
Guest

I'm coming in real late on this, 2 years later, but let me illustrate how dumb the naysayers' arguments are on this.

Before the 24-hour culture began, and I'm old enough to remember when it did (37), it was pretty normal for families to eat dinner around 5 or 6pm, the kids to go to bed around 8pm, and breakfast to be served sometime between 6 and 8am.

If you have dinner at 6pm and then you have breakfast at 6am because you're getting ready for school, guess what? You fasted twelve hours. The stated advice is to fast from 12 to 18 hours. It does not have to be 18 hours. It can be 12. And this 12-hour fast that was NORMAL when I was a kid was observed by EVERYBODY, no matter what sort of a health condition they might have had. The fact that it was socially acceptable to eat more fat when I was a kid probably helped, too, because fat in the diet causes a true satiety response and you don't wind up with a blood sugar crash half an hour after you eat, driving you to the refrigerator again.

I get that people love airline food but if you're trying to reset your clock, eating on an airline is probably the worst thing you can do. You can tolerate a fast if your blood sugar is even. You can't hang with it, though, if you're crashing because you just had a handful of foreign-airline candy or a handful of U.S. airline pretzels half an hour ago.

But... again... there is NOTHING toxic or dangerous about not eating for twelve hours. Period. No matter who you are.

Guest's picture

I've never heard of this trick before, its interesting. I'll try it and see if it works.

Guest's picture
Judy

Scientists have long known that our circadian rhythm is regulated by our exposure to light.

This was noted in the article. Just go with that. I was once speaking to a doctor about not sleeping well and getting up with the sun coming up and getting out into it is the best method. Even if you have had hardly any sleep prior, throughout the night. It is not helpful to sleep in, in your dark room. You can go to bed again when the sun goes down. Just let yourself suck in the perfect powers of daylight. When the sun comes up, open the curtains, take it in, sit in it and be awake with it.

Not eating for long periods, I suggest, is not the best method. There would be some repercussions that may be serious for some people.
However, full credit to this article....it IS a method, that sounds like it works.

Guest's picture
Guest

I also wonder if my habit of skipping breakfast entirely is partly involved in my persistent sleep pattern problems.

I don't eat for hours after waking. I am just not hungry or interested in food until I have been awake 4-8 hours.

My natural sleep 'pattern' (lol) seems to be fall asleep by about 6 or 7 am and wake up at 4 or 5 pm. Doesn't work too well in the real world. To reset my clock I end up staying awake for a day and a half to fall asleep at a somewhat normal time.

I will bear this information in mind next time I have to reset my clock to be awake in the daytime.

Guest's picture
Guest

This is me exactly. To "flip" i have to stay awake for 24 hours and then I sleep for something crazy like 14 hours, and even once I get on somewhat of a daytime schedule, it only takes one episode of staying up later to reset me to my "normal" reversed cycle.

It's brutal. People don't realize how much we struggle every day just to try to flip.

Guest's picture
Guest

I know this is an old conversation, but count me in on this too. It's going on 6 pm EDT and I've been awake 2 hours. When the birds begin to sing, I'm climbing into bed. Every time I climb into bed, I think about how ridiculous it is that I wasn't sleeping 8 hours ago. It is torture! Like the poster above, a 24 hour awake period followed by 14 hours' sleep can be broken with only /one/ slip of staying up too late. I hate it.

Guest's picture
nightperson

This sometimes is difficult on a plane, where they tend to ration fluids. If you do have a large meal 12-14 hours before your est. arrival time, then a large water while you're waiting in the airport, you'll be okay. Might have more problems accessing the plane's facilities than you will have by skipping food for 16 hours. I suspect this is healthy for most people. Take some juice or at least more water during the flight. I'm going to do this next time I travel overseas. So nice that Harvard has the resources to do these studies on things that can immediately help our daily lives, but I would guess the gov't is paying for the study? If this works for people, there should be plenty of anecdotal evidence that the study's results were valid.

Guest's picture

Awesome trick! I'll try this next time I travel to Europe.

Will, you have already posted this at http://parentingsquad.com/easy-way-to-reset-your-sleep-cycle-stop-eating in May 2008.

I'm just curious why reposting here verbatim.

Guest's picture

I too edit Wikipedia too much perhaps. Here are some specific references:

Science Friday interview with Dr. Saper. Says nothing of the period recommended for fasting.

'Food Clock' May Override Master Sleep Clock in Times of Duress - also no mention of 12-16 hours of fasting. Tests were done on mice. No tests on humans.

I'm not saying this doesn't work. Just that there aren't reputable studies about it. However, risks are small enough that everyone can try it for themselves.

Guest's picture
Amay

I have a problem with compulsive eating, particularly at night. Aside from sleep apnea, which I do not have, and depression which I have in spades, I have often wondered what caused my irregular sleep. If there is such a thing as a food clock that I was messing with when I ate late at night it could explain a great deal.
I've been told to go on a sleep fast, where one doesn't sleep for 32 hours so as to later attain at least five hours solid sleep. That worked that one time, but I need something that will help on a regular basis.
I do not think not eating from say 6:30pm to 6:30am is too extreme. Being an addict with food I can't say what I will do tommorrow. But, "just for today" or the the next 24 hours I think I can do this. Perhaps if I have breakfast outside by 7 am and then stay out for a walk I will have a better day tomorrow. This could even be the start of something good; well..."One Day At a Time.'

Guest's picture

Perhaps comment #30 was addressing me, but since the poster didn't specify that I'll just blow it off.

In any case, I did try it and as I originally said, it didn't work. It turns out that - at least for me - it is a wasted effort. It did sound good, but I was skeptical as I mentioned before.

I also gave it a good chance by trying it several times. It was a no go, for me.

Guest's picture

Interesting article on how to reset your body clock by tuning in to your "food clock". Fasting for 12-16 hours could be a bit tedious on a long haul flight. But i guess if it works, it could be worthwhile giving it a go. My preference is to try to keep normal hours when you arrive at a new destination after a long haul flight. ie. avoid sleeping during the daytime no matter how tired you are and try to go to sleep at your usual time to adjust to your new destination.

Guest's picture
Holly

Pretty interesting discovery that a quick fast can reset your sleep pattern. Personally don't think I'd be a very happy camper not eating for 12-16 hours but in extreme cases maybe I'd do it

Much rather just take some melatonin. Came across this article about melatonin being the preferable sleep aid over traditional prescription and over the counter pills if anyone's interested.

http://howhollysleeps.com/the-greener-sleep-aid/

Guest's picture
köpek

The key, in my opinion, is the 16 hour fast. It is also the only really difficult part about doing this. In my case, I've flown back from Taiwan on a flight that leaves Taiwan at around 4 PM and arrives in Los Angeles around noon. For this to work properly, once my plane lands in Los Angeles I eat lunch, then stop eating after 2 PM and do not eat again until 6 AM the next morning
http://www.disbeyazlatma.net thanks

Guest's picture

You're so right. I fly to Asia all the time and find that fasting works the best.

Guest's picture
m65

 

I thought it was common knowledge then and now that Frank Capra was a Republican who was active in the anti-Communist cause back then. He was also major in the United States Army Signal Corps during World War II.

I guess this shows that the FBI was so hell-bent on pushing anti-communist propaganda that they were blind to something so well-known... or maybe they were just trying to create an example. Either way it is clear that what they were doing was highly dubious and completely lacking of anything resembling morality.

kamagra acne

 

Guest's picture
Guest

Ehm... Perhaps you're dreaming? Or spamming? You might want to try the test in this article though... Might be good for you.

Or perhaps I missed another post that mentioned all of this groovy stuff? Don't see what WWII has to do with sleeping though...

Guest's picture
kevin

if i want to wake up at 11 am, when should i fast?

Guest's picture

Wouldn't Melatonin do the trick?

Guest's picture
Reaga

I've been sleeping and waking up later and later, to the point where I didn't go to sleep til 9 am and woke up at 4 pm. Can this trick help me, and if so do I need to sleep during the fast and just set an alarm?

Guest's picture
Guest

Oh my god I have the same problem. So glad to find another person with the same thing.

Guest's picture

I'm totally going to try this when I go to Asia. It's so soon, I'm getting giddy.

Guest's picture

If fasting was the answer to jet lag, you can be sure all the celebs, etc. would be doing it (not a stretch for many, as they already don't eat). It's not proven yet to be the answer.

Guest's picture
Apeetha

Thank you so much. This really helped. I am able to function better and my sleep cycle changed in a day! I was so burned up and was skipping classes because of my sleep cycle. And I thought I should take sleeping pills maybe, but this was easier and healthier.

Guest's picture
Guest

Does this also work for toddlers? My son and I moved to a different time zone, from central standard time to Pacific standard time, and he no longer follows his sleep schedule.

Guest's picture
Guest

I totally agree with this "hack" approach. Years ago I noted with my children that I could shift their sleep during daylight savings time changes by changing the time at which I served dinner. I use it now to enforce a bedtime that helps accommodate an early morning wake-up for school. When my children get home at 2:30 I don't give them a snack, instead I give them dinner at 4:00. They have more energy for after-school activities and avoid moodiness. They get a snack in the evening and are ready for sleep at 7:30/8:00. The benefit is that my husband and I get time for us between 8-10. We all get the sleep we need and rise as a family at 6:15 a.m.! Breakfast is at 6:45 a.m.

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Sleep

This is a very interesting thought. My fasting I can reset my internal clock... I wonder if this always works the first time, or what could make this not work?

I know a couple of people who should give this a go!

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Lukáš

A question: Can I sleep during this 16 hrs period?

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Guest

Is it okay to drink?

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Guest

So, we fast for about 12-16 hours, but would sleeping or taking naps during the fast affect the resetting process at all?
I haven't had a meal in about 12 hours but during those 12 hours I've slept/napped and woke up again and stayed awake after about 7 hours into the fast.
I noticed that I am fairly hungry and I had 1/2 and apple (a small one- and I know that defeats the purpose of the fast but I stumbled onto this site after I ate the apple) and am getting sleepy again.
is there any known effect of sleeping/taking a nap after the fast? Or how about small snacks during the "fast"?
Any input would be appreciated.

I enjoyed the article, it was very interesting to read about. I've heard about staying up all night and day and crashing at a "normal" sleeping time or slowly adjusting to a new sleeping schedule but both are fairly difficult. I'm hoping this will help with my terrible sleeping habits!

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elle

I'm confused..do you eat less on the day that you try this? or do you eat the same amount, but force yourself to eat earlier? I'm going to try this tonight, but I just want to make sure I'm doing it correctly.

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redfood

This makes no sense to me. Then wouldn't everyone who doesn't engage in a midnight snack be cured of jet lag by day 2 just by virtue of not eating at night?

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Max Walsh

Is there any link to sleeping better & dreaming? I dream weird dreams every night

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fahad baloch

hello, i am a CA student and have my papers in 10 days time. i really want to change my sleeping schedule in order to get through my papers successfully as we do not get any gaps in between papers, all papers go consecutively.

ok i understood the complete thing here except one, when it is talking about 12 to 16 hours fasting, can we sleep during those 12/ 16 hours??? or we have to remain hungry as well as awake??

please reply soon.

thanx

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Dan

Tried it. Didn't work. My hunch was right - if it sounds to good to be true, than it probably is.
This is certainly no "one-size-fits-all" thing. Maybe it will work for some, but not everyone.
I plan to just set the alarm a bit each time earlier every day until I wake up at the time I want. Than just keep waking up at that time, until it becomes habit. This is the only reasonable method. No "quick fixes".

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Guest

This is retarded and very flawed. I mean 1) your hungry and can't go to bed 2) assumed you can simply set the time you want to wake up...meaning you will fall asleep by a certain time. Idiotic.

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Ali

I have a question. What if I stay awake all day and go to bed star fasting at 9pm (after I woke up and ate) go to bed at 7am...and want to get up normally at 9am....I mean I can get up at 9am and eat....but I will be so groggy. Can I eat and go back to bed...and wallah my clock will be reset?

Please clarify the implications of the fast!

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Ash Dando

Why do you all keep focussing on how hard it will be to not eat the airline food, or to survive on the flight without eating, etc? Why not do the fasting/reset thing AFTER you arrive at your destination? It seems everyone has unwittingly connected fasting with the flight, when that linkage is totally unnecessary and makes the whole exercise harder. Way easier to just get your long-haul flight over and done with, and deal with your 16-hour fast once you land and have easy access to water, clocks, free movement, etc. Sheesh, why do people have to make things so hard on themselves!

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Jessica

This doesn't make any sense to me. If this mechanism is supposed to prevent sleeping animals from going to bed hungry, then why would you go to bed hungry and then wake up and eat?

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Ash Dando

Jessica, my understanding of the article was that the instinct is built into us so that if (as cavemen/cavewomen) we moved to a new area and the only animals available for us to kill and eat, were best hunted for at 4am or something, then this body-clock-reset-by-hunger thing would mean that the the *next* day our bodies would wake us up at roughly the same time, on the fairly good likelihood that whatever we killed and ate at 4am, more of it will be there tomorrow at 4am.

Sorry if I haven't done the article justice, but that was how I thought it worked. That's the evolutionary *assumption* of how and why the human body clock resets this way. I don't think that part of it can ever be proven - we can only speculate the reasons why it does this. The research merely found that ending a 16 or more hour fast re-synchronises the body clock, starting the cycle at or around the time of the meal that broke the 16+ hour fast.

I hope that helps?

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Guest

I was so hopeful this would work. But it didn't. Everything is worth a try.

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Guest

It worked for me. Chile>Australia>USA>Chile in a week. No food for 16 hours before the morning meal on the overnight flight, no juices, no drinks just lots of water. The calculation = duration of flight - 1hour for meal served before landing + number of hours before departure = 16 or more hours. For example 13 hour overnight flight to Australia - 1 = 12 hours. So to make the 16 hours, my last food shwas consumed 4 hours before departure.
I had heard about this Harvard study some time ago but did not have such a good opportunity to test it as this around the world in 7 days tour.
The overnight to Los Angeles was the best overnight flight I have ever done. Alert and refreshed on arrival, and slept almost all the way.
On shorter flights I recommend earplugs and eye mask to get to sleep as much of the flight as possible. No matter how fast your rhythyn is reset, you still need sleep.

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Guest

i tried it too but it didn't help

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Sam

This totally worked.

I struggle with my sleep cycle, insomnia, over sleeping, this is absolutely life-changing stuff for me. Thank you so much. I wish I'd known this like 25 years ago could have saved me a lot of pain.

And, as for the people afraid to miss even one meal, "oh it would be torture!!", who cares if you silly pigs can't sleep or wake up!! Find another way, if you love your food so much. Take drugs instead? Ugh. Didn't you know, people can fast for weeks or more without any ill-effect? Even sick people can fast. It's good for you. Give your guts a bit of a rest before they fall out or explode or what.

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Guest

The fasting method is nothing new and is by far the best method for adjusting to a new time zone.

Business people like myself who regularly travel extreme long haul flights (20+ hours), use this technique for fast recovery on arrival. For example, when traveling from Sydney to Europe (22+ hours), I eat only the first meal on the plane and for the rest of the flight, including Singapore stopover, all I consume is water. Within 24 hours of arriving, there are almost no signs of jet lag. When traveling with colleagues who eat all the meals on the flight, I've noticed my recovery time is about 72 hours faster.

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Guest

am i allowed to drink anything?

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Guest213

Did this today. Problem is that when you wake up, you go get some food and after that you are very tired again.

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Very interesting. I spend quite a bit of time in Europe because of work, so I'm definitely going to have to try this out. Naturally getting used to the time change in a gradual manner just takes too much time and is a pain in the butt to say the least.

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Guest

Can you still drink water when you fast or no?

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Guest

I'm very glad to have found this article! 12 years ago I started to lose my hearing in my only working ear. The loss was accompanied by extremely loud noises. The first otolaryngologist that I saw was incompetent, so under his treatment got much worse. At one point I went two full weeks without sleep. This is truly out of the realm of comprehension of anyone that I've known, including most doctors. The result of going so long without sleep is that your body is put under an enormous amount of stress. It was a living HELL. One of the results is that I started to go blind. A retina specialist explained the correlation of the deterioration of my retina's with such severe stress.

Another result of this was that I seemed to have lost my ability to sleep regularly. Over the past 12 years I've done numerous sleep studies with no real recommendations, other than take sleeping pills, which I hate. I don't have sleep apnea.

I only recently came to the realization that my sleeping cycle is way off. Most days out of the week I won't fall asleep until after 6am. Sometimes I can't sleep until noon. However, if I allow myself to stay awake until I am sleepy, I will sleep for a solid 8 hours. That's why I know that I don't have a sleep disorder, other than having a sleep cycle that is different from everyone else around me.

I've never considered a rigid meal schedule that might invoke a natural reaction that could help change my sleep cycle. Thus far, nothing seems to work, other than taking prescription medication, and that has turned out to be a nightmare in itself.

I have my doubts that it could be this simple for me, but I have nothing to lose.

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Guest

It is supossed to work after one time? Because every two weeks I get up to go on train, have breakfast (big) at 5 a.m, go to bed at 10.p.m. and the next day I'm back at waking up at 10.30. (don't drink coffe, don't eat before sleep). Anyone can give me some advice?

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Ihasquestion

I need some clarification here:
Today I woke up at 6 *pm*. I would like to switch my sleep-cycle to wake up at 6 *am*. Okay, so I fast until the time I want to wake up, which is 6 *am* - altogether, including sleep, this fast is longer than 12 or even 16 hours - then what? At this point, or perhaps around 9 or 10 am, I will begin to feel sleepy. Do I take some sort of nap at this point or hold off on sleep for another 12 hours until 9 or 10 pm? It seems to me that this is not only a food fast but also a sleep fast. Ha!