Does Sleeping Count As Fasting?

Written by Andrew Brewer. ⚕️Reviewed and fact checked by our medical team.

Does Sleeping Count As Fasting?There are only 24 hours in the day, so that means there are only so many hours that you can fast or eat in a day. As you look at the intermittent fasting plans, you’ll notice that some are long enough that they would cover the times you’re awake and sleeping. It may leave you wondering, does sleeping count as fasting?

Yes! Sleeping absolutely counts as fasting, and many people choose to put as much of their fasting window over times they would typically be asleep to help avoid the hunger pangs. Here’s all you need to know about sleeping and fasting, including how to optimize your fasting window.

Key Takeaways

  • Sleeping does count as fasting because you are not consuming any calories during that time. This can be advantageous as it allows your body to utilize available calories and tap into fat stores for energy, leading to potential weight loss.
  • Intermittent fasting plans should be strategically timed to include the period of sleep to make the most of the fasting window. By aligning the fasting window with your sleeping hours, you can minimize hunger pangs and optimize the benefits of fasting.
  • Studies suggest that intermittent fasting can improve sleep quality and help regulate the body’s natural circadian rhythm, contributing to overall better sleep patterns.
  • While sleeping counts as fasting, it is important to remember that additional fasting hours beyond the sleeping window are necessary for weight loss and other measurable results. You should establish a fasting duration that extends beyond the hours of sleep.
  • Intermittent fasting can be flexible and tailored to individual preferences and schedules. Finding a fasting plan that works best for you, whether it involves skipping breakfast or adjusting meal times, can help you adhere to the fasting routine more effectively.

Intermittent Fasting and Sleeping

You want to be strategic when you’re intermittent fasting, and that includes timing your fasting windows to cover when you’re asleep. You are already not eating, so you may as well make the most of it!

As long as you don’t sleep eat or wake up to get a snack in the middle of the night, sleeping will count towards your fast. You aren’t consuming any calories, so your body is able to work through its available calories to help your body recover as you rest. Once it exhausts your caloric intake for the day, it will move to the fat stores. This is where weight loss happens.

Studies suggest that intermittent fasting can also help you sleep better, recharging your body’s natural circadian rhythm. This is yet another benefit of intermittent fasting.

Now, keep in mind that you will need to fast beyond your sleeping window. After all, if it were as easy as just sleeping, then you wouldn’t need additional weight loss goals. During your eating windows, you want to make sure not to overindulge. Eating too many carbs may make you tired, though it may not be a restful sleep.

The most important thing to remember about intermittent fasting and sleeping is that timing your fasting windows during this time will help you feel less hungry, but you still need to fast for additional hours to lose weight and see other measurable results.

How Many Hours Should I Fast While Sleeping?

If you get the average 8 hours of sleep per night, then that can be your baseline as you’re looking to determine how many hours you want to fast in a day. Then, look at the different plans that are available. You may want to start at 12:12, which would only add four hours your night’s sleep.

From there, you can work your way up to your preferred plan, which should help you lose weight if you do it correctly. Many people find it’s easy to skip breakfast, while others prefer to flex their eating at night. Look at your schedule and see what works best for you.

If you meet with a lot of friends over dinner or late night drinks, you’ll likely want to flex in the morning vs. skipping an evening meal. The best part of intermittent fasting is that is can be as flexible as you need it to meet your needs.

So, Does Sleeping Count as Fasting?

Sleeping absolutely counts as fasting, but if you are serious about fasting to a significant lifestyle change, you want to fast outside of sleeping hours. After all, if we could drop pounds when sleeping, we all would!

Since that’s not really possible, instead, you need to be aware of what you eat and stay active.  Sleeping can help you get through a chunk of your fasting, but it shouldn’t comprise all of it. You can do it if you put your mind to it!


  • Does sleeping count as fasting?

Yes, sleeping does count as fasting because you are not consuming any calories during that time. It can contribute to your overall fasting window and help optimize the benefits of intermittent fasting.

  • Can I eat during my sleeping hours and still consider it fasting?

No, if you consume food or snacks during your sleeping hours, it breaks the fast. To maintain the fasting state, it’s important to avoid eating or waking up for snacks in the middle of the night.

  • Will I lose weight by just sleeping?

While sleeping contributes to the fasting process and enables your body to utilize calories and tap into fat stores, weight loss requires additional fasting hours beyond the sleeping window. A holistic approach involving mindful eating and staying active is essential for achieving weight loss goals.

  • How many hours should I fast while sleeping?

If you get the average 8 hours of sleep per night, that can serve as your baseline. You can start with a 12:12 fasting plan, where you fast for 12 hours and have a 12-hour eating window, adding four hours to your night’s sleep. From there, you can gradually increase the fasting duration based on your preferred plan and weight loss goals.

  • Can intermittent fasting improve my sleep quality?

Yes, studies suggest that intermittent fasting can help improve sleep quality and regulate the body’s natural circadian rhythm. By aligning your fasting window with your sleeping hours, you may experience better sleep patterns and overall sleep quality.

  • Is intermittent fasting flexible to accommodate different schedules?

Yes, intermittent fasting can be tailored to fit individual schedules and preferences. You can adjust your fasting and eating windows to align with your lifestyle. Whether you prefer skipping breakfast or flexing your eating times, intermittent fasting can be customized to meet your needs.

  • Is fasting during sleep enough to achieve significant weight loss?

While sleeping contributes to fasting, significant weight loss requires fasting beyond the sleeping hours. Simply relying on sleep as the only fasting period is not sufficient. To achieve substantial weight loss, it’s important to be mindful of your dietary choices, maintain an active lifestyle, and extend your fasting duration outside of sleep.

  • Can intermittent fasting be a long-term lifestyle change?

Intermittent fasting can be adopted as a long-term lifestyle change, given its flexibility and potential health benefits. However, it’s crucial to combine it with a balanced diet, regular exercise, and overall healthy habits for sustained results and overall well-being.

Andrew Brewer

Andrew Brewer

Andrew Brewer started to give people the guidance that he never received when he was first starting. His goal is to make your goals achievable and to offer you only the best fasting apps that the internet has to offer. You're not on your own - Andrew and the entire family of reviewers at are here with you every step of the way!