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Vol. 47, No. 5, 2003
Issue release date: September–October 2003
Section title: Original Paper
Ann Nutr Metab 2003;47:194–200
(DOI:10.1159/000070485)

Effects of Short-Term Modified Fasting on Sleep Patterns and Daytime Vigilance in Non-Obese Subjects: Results of a Pilot Study

Michalsen A. · Schlegel F. · Rodenbeck A. · Lüdtke R. · Huether G. · Teschler H. · Dobos G.J.
aDepartment of Internal Medicine V, Kliniken Essen Mitte, Essen, bDepartment of Psychiatry, University of Göttingen, Göttingen, cKarl und Veronica Carstens Foundation, Essen, dDepartment of Pulmonary Medicine and Sleep Disorders, Ruhrlandklinik, University Clinic Essen, Essen, Germany

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Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Original Paper

Received: 10/9/2002
Accepted: 12/12/2002
Published online: 5/16/2003

Number of Print Pages: 7
Number of Figures: 3
Number of Tables: 2

ISSN: 0250-6807 (Print)
eISSN: 1421-9697 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/ANM

Abstract

Background: Periodically repeated short-term fasting is a frequently practised tradition worldwide. Empirical reports suggest that during fasting periods the quality of sleep and daytime performance are improved. The effects of a home-based 1-week modified fasting on sleep patterns and daytime vigilance and performance were analysed in 15 healthy non-obese volunteers. Methods: Sleep was measured by polysomnography before and after a 7-day fasting period; sleep inventories with assessment of daytime performance were collected throughout the observation period. Blood samples and urine were drawn at the beginning and at the end of fasting. Results: 13 subjects (12 females, 1 male; age 41.2 ± 13.4 years; BMI 23.9 ± 4.2 kg/m2) completed the fasting period; weight decreased from 66.5 ± 11.7 kg to 63 ± 11.9 kg. Compared to baseline, a significant decrease in arousals, a decrease in periodic leg movements (PLM) and a non-significant increase in REM sleep were observed at the end of fasting. Subjective sleep ratings showed a fasting-induced increase in global quality of sleep, daytime concentration, vigour and emotional balance. Clinical laboratory tests showed a decrease in serum magnesium; urinary melatonin excretion decreased moderately. Conclusion: This open pilot study demonstrates that along with a decrease in sleep arousals a 1-week fasting period promotes the quality of sleep and daytime performance in non-obese subjects. The observed decrease in PLM might point to a nutritional modification of brain dopaminergic functions. In terms of evolutionary development, an improved daytime performance during periods of food deprivation could have been beneficial for the success in search for food.


Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Original Paper

Received: 10/9/2002
Accepted: 12/12/2002
Published online: 5/16/2003

Number of Print Pages: 7
Number of Figures: 3
Number of Tables: 2

ISSN: 0250-6807 (Print)
eISSN: 1421-9697 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/ANM


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Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in goverment regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
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