Author Topic: Sleep Restriction Therapy and Diet  (Read 4182 times)

Offline dee

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Sleep Restriction Therapy and Diet
« on: June 27, 2011, 08:54:19 AM »
So based on my understanding of sleep restriction therapy, here's my summary:
-limit sleep and time in bed to minimum
-have sleep efficiency increase
-efficiency is retained after therapy

Compare this to calorie restriction diets. It sounds exactly the same, so what if, this occurs:
-limit calories and food to minimum
-have calorie efficiency increase
-efficiency is retained after diet

This could occur for both lower resting metabolic rate, and lower absorption efficiency. Yes, everyone knew that short term diets don't help lose weight in the long run, but maybe, just maybe, we are teaching people how to gain weight in the long run with some acute stress (short term dieting). What if all of this body fat setpoint stuff simply occurs because of our reactions to weight loss and gain, as in the setpoint is just a transient stage of the overcompensation from the diet and that rebound causes us to take other measures, thus delaying the overcompensated state with more dieting but putting everyone spiraling towards slow but sure weight gain? Any thoughts?

P.S. I haven't been posting much cause I've been studying and doing a few n=1 fitness experiments. I'm not dead.

Offline shadowfoot

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Re: Sleep Restriction Therapy and Diet
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2011, 10:45:33 AM »
Interesting thoughts, dee. It seems perfectly logical that the body would respond to calorie restriction by decreasing number of calories burned (metabolic rate), increasing absorption efficiency (so we absorb more calories from food), reducing caloric output (translates into less energy), etc. These factors increase the ability to gain fat in the future. For example, this stuey (http://www.nature.com/oby/journal/v18/n3/full/oby2009312a.html) concluded that mild calorie restriction actually made rats gain weight (presumably due to metabolic starvation tactics). Also observing the failure rate with diets and the tendency for people to rebound and gain back more weight indicates that the picture is quite a bit more complicated than we might think.

Certainly I think that weight can be lost without intentional calorie restriction (through flavor control) for some people, just as I know I sleep better if I use electric lights minimally and simply allow my body to listen to the light cues of my environment. In cases where these work, I see it as the body returning to a natural state as its environment is put more in tune with what the body naturally expects.

But then there are probably people for whom flavor control wouldn't work, or it would simply have the same effect as intentional calorie restriction in terms of slowing metabolism etc. In those cases there is probably some other more powerful metabolic factor going on, be it mild hypothyroidism or leptin resistance. In these people the damage is beyond simply behavior or basic response to a stimulus and requires a different approach. What that is I don't know.

All in all, the more I research and learn the more I learn the more Matt Stone's ideas on metabolism seem to resonate with me, both from a research standpoint and from personal experience.

And don't worry about not posting. Not that much happened without you.

Offline dee

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Re: Sleep Restriction Therapy and Diet
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2011, 02:25:00 PM »
Haha. I was thinking about Matt Stone's ideas when writing the first thing. I still don't like all of his ideas, but still.

That study was exactly what I was hoping to see (on the rats and the weight gain) based on my guess that the body fat set point is just transitional. I believe that it just occurs for people because once they realize they are regaining weight, they compensate by reducing calories again, and that that averages out to something that looks like a set point (you know how statistics does that stuff). (Just repeating my point to try and clarify).

My question now is is it dangerous to recommend calorie restriction?

Another question that could arise is how does this affect intermittent fasting? One could argue that short term and long term calorie restriction causes the body to respond differently, but you never know.

Offline David199

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Re: Sleep Restriction Therapy and Diet
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2013, 09:44:27 AM »
Dee, i think its a good point.  One thing i have seemed to notice on this site is that there is a lot of discussion of ways to reduce calories like IF, but nothing in terms of benefits from increasing calories even though Todd has mentioned before that he sees overeating as a stress.  It seems like you could see IF and over-eating as flip sides of the same coin.  Maybe both are stresses and we need a little of each.  Matt Stone has done a good job of highlighting the problems of calorie restriction, but he primarily talks about just over-eating as a way to reduce stress.  If you ascribe to the opponent process theory, it makes sense that over-eating would cause the body to speed metabolism and overshoot slightly making you thinner - if only it was that easy.  I think alternating between over-eating and under-eating, providing a little stress from each, may be worth considering, and other issues like how certain foods impact the brain and regulate metabolism may be important.  I'd like to see more research on sumo wrestlers since they are about the only group i know who is intentially trying to gain weight.   

The under-eating / over-eating has been looked at in books such as Cheat to Lose (about having a cheat day once a week to keep leptin levels high) and there are others. 

Offline Torvald

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Re: Sleep Restriction Therapy and Diet
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2013, 02:18:22 PM »
I see that Dee hasn't posted in two years, but this is an excellent question. It shakes out my understanding of these hormetic practices, which is still pretty spotty.

As I understand intermittent fasting, it's not the same as calorie restriction. I understand that people who intermittently fast tend to eat about the same number of calories as people who don't. So, on fast days, their insulin levels fall to the minimum, and on non-fast days, when they make up for the calorie deficit, they drive their insulin levels pretty high. Hence the body is continually "reminded" of how to deal with the full range of insulin levels. You get both the stress of low caloric intake and the stress of high caloric intake. This affects all aspects of the body, from hunger pangs to maintenance of the enzymes (and whatever else) needed to run on either fat or stored glucose depending on what's available. Without these periodic stresses, you tend to lose the enzymes needed for one or the other.

Dee's question was whether calorie restriction promotes "calorie efficiency" in like manner to the way sleep-restriction therapy promotes "sleep efficiency". My current understanding is: no.

Calorie restriction does promote calorie efficiency by slowing metabolism to eek out as many hours of survival as possible from minimal food, sort of like turning down your lights to reduce your electric bill if you have to live on a very small budget.

The "efficiency" in sleep-restriction therapy is completely different: it's just the proportion of time actually sleeping to total time lying in bed. Sleep-restriction therapy works by conditioning the body to release sleeping and waking hormones at appropriate times of day and in response to the cue of going to the bedroom and getting in bed. For most insomniacs, making efficient use of sleep isn't the problem. The problem is getting too-little sleep due to messed-up sleep-cue conditioning and a messed-up circadian schedule.

Would someone like to correct or confirm my understanding of the above?
« Last Edit: September 25, 2013, 02:29:46 PM by Torvald »

Offline David199

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Re: Sleep Restriction Therapy and Diet
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2013, 09:53:47 AM »
Torvald, I am also experimenting with sleep deprevation as i was diagnosed with insomnia (waking up in the middle of the night, not falling asleep).  I've gone through the sleep testing (using the various monitors) and i'm seeing a Cognitive Behavioral Therapist as well.  My issue appears to be that i simply wake up - no larger issue like sleep apnea. 

I have reduced my sleep initiall to only 7 hours in bed and i've already noticed improvements.  What i've noticed, to your point, is that its not just about "staying" asleep.  The "efficiency" in terms of hitting all 4 stages of sleep also improve.  In other words, i get more rest for the same amount of time asleep.  I do not have a ZEO or other sleep device to confirm this, but i used to wake up around 3-4am and then "nap" until 7am.  The "naps" felt like i never got out of Stage 1 sleep - never like deep sleep.  I think SRT has two benefits: 1) staying asleep for longer periods and 2) hitting the deeper levels of sleep.   Because of this, I've wondered if healthy individuals should "stress" themselves by restricting sleep a little each month to get the positive rebound effect. 

I agree with you that intermitent fasting of less than 24 hours should not cause the same problems of lower metabolism that chronic calorie restriction does.  One key on this website is brief, not chronic, stress.  With that said, there is very little discussion of the benefits of overeating and many people use fasting a way to reduce total calories. 

Offline Torvald

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Re: Sleep Restriction Therapy and Diet
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2013, 08:20:59 PM »
What i've noticed, to your point, is that its not just about "staying" asleep.  The "efficiency" in terms of hitting all 4 stages of sleep also improve.  In other words, i get more rest for the same amount of time asleep.

David,

It sounds like you're paying attention to a much more important kind of "sleep efficiency": rest per time asleep. A better name for Sleep Restriction Therapy's "sleep efficiency" might be "bed/sleep ratio". (Some scientists do a terrible job at naming things.) Who knows, maybe when Dee wrote "sleep efficiency", she meant rest per time asleep. (Dee? Are you still here?)

BTW, I've had occasional good results with sleep deprivation. Quite a few times, after getting no sleep for a night, or only about an hour, I've snapped out of "brain-scramble", and retained my ability to focus for several days. Not always, though. Sometimes I've just felt more drained. I've seldom done this on purpose, though, so it's hard to say what factors make a difference.

This happened two days ago, actually. Monday night, I didn't get to sleep until about 2:00 or 3:00 a.m. At about 4:00 a.m., my fire alarm started chirping every few minutes: its way of saying that it needs new batteries. I replaced the batteries and never got back to sleep. Tuesday morning, I was massively brain-scrambled, and I had a pretty full day ahead. Around 1:00 p.m., the brain-scrambled pretty much lifted. Possible confounding factors: I fasted on Monday; Tuesday was filled with more pressures and more social interaction than most days; on Saturday, I started massively increasing my intake of leafy greens and limiting my intake of carbohydrates; and on Tuesday morning, I took a hot shower instead of the cold showers that I've been taking for the last two months (because I was in a hurry!).

Have you read anything about the effects (beneficial or otherwise) of occasional harsh sleep deprivation?
« Last Edit: October 02, 2013, 08:24:10 PM by Torvald »