The Department of Pharmacology at the Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy in Casablanca conducted research together with Groupe de Recherche sur les Rythmes Biologiques at the Laboratoire de Physiologie Animale Faculté des Sciences in Rabat Morocco
The research team comprised of a myriad of experts including Rachida Roky, Leila Iraki, Rachida HajKhlifa, Nouria Lakhdar Ghazal and Farid Hakkou.
According to their peer reviewed journal
“This study examined the effect of Ramadan intermittent fasting on the diurnal alertness and oral temperature in 10 healthy young subjects. The cognitive task battery including movement reaction time (MRT), critical flicker fusion (CFF) and visual analogue scale, was administered at 6 different times of the day: 09.00, 11.00, 13.00, 16.00, 20.00 and 23.00 h on the 6th, 15th, and 28th days of Ramadan. The baseline day was scheduled one week before Ramadan, and the recovery day 18 days after this month. Oral temperature was measured prior to each test session and at 00.00 h. During Ramadan oral temperature decreased at 09.00, 11.00, 13.00, 16.00 and 20.00 h and increased at 23.00 and 00.00 h. Subjective alertness decreased at 09.00 and 16.00 h and increased at 23.00 h. Mood decreased at 16.00 h. MRT was increased at the beginning of Ramadan (R6) and CFF was not changed. These results showed that daytime oral temperature, subjective alertness and mood were decreased during Ramadan intermittent fasting.“ and “The aim of this study is to determine the daily distribution of body temperature and alertness during Ramadan fasting.”
Ramadan is a 12 hour fast that is a religious practice in Islam. It involves abstinence from food, drink and sexual behavior for a period of 12 hours. You are free to drink and eat whatever you want when the fast ends each day, this means that all meals are consumed at night and thus affects sleeping patterns.
How the study was conducted
“Ten healthy male volunteers aged between 20 and 28 years were recruited through advertisement within the University. They were informed about the procedure of the study and they gave their consent to participate to it. The protocol was approved by the religious committee of Hassan II Foundation for Scientific and Medical Research on Ramadan, and by the ethical committee of Casablanca faculty of medicine. Subjects underwent a careful interview about their sleep and eating habits. During regular days, all subjects met the following criteria: (1) Time in bed from 23.00 to 07.00 h +- 1 h. (2) Breakfast at 07.30 h +- 1 h, lunch at 12.00 +- 1 h and dinner at 20.00 h B 1h.(3) Infrequent napping. (4) No smoking, no more than 2 cups of coffee daily and no alcohol. (5) Good physical and mental health. Subjects were intermediate type as determined by the Morningness-Eveningness self assessment questionnaire of Horne and Östberg .During Ramadan, subjects had the following sleep and eating habits: (1) Time in bed from 01.00 to 08.00 h +- 1 h. (2) The first meals at sunset (between 18.00 and 18.30 h) and the second at 00.00 h +- 30 min”
results of the study
the subjects’ oral temperature significantly decreased during the fasting period.
their global alertness varied significantly between up and down at different times.
during the fasting period there was a general decrease in the global mood throughout the day.
the movement reaction time increased significantly while the critical flicker fusion was not affected and showed no results.
the study looked at these effects before, during and after ramadan. There is however no indication that they ate healthy or unhealthy food during their feeding window, which would affect the study significantly.
We will be looking further into the reaserch on IF over the next few weeks.