Sleep Better During Ramadan
An estimated 22% of the world’s population (approximately 1.6billion people) fast during the holy month of Ramadan.
It is observed by Muslims all over the world, during which they fast from dawn till dusk. It is a time for spiritual reflection, increased prayer and worship, and a focus on self-discipline and self-control.
However, fasting can also disrupt sleep patterns and make it difficult to get a good night's rest.
Learn some tips for coping with the changes and how to sleep better during Ramadan.
- Changes in sleep schedule: During Ramadan, Muslims wake up early in the morning before dawn to eat a meal known as suhoor. This meal is eaten before the fast begins and is intended to provide energy for the day ahead. As a result, many Muslims may experience a shift in their sleep schedule, going to bed later and waking up earlier than usual.
Tip: Try to establish a consistent sleep schedule during Ramadan by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day. This will help regulate your body's internal clock and improve the quality of your sleep.
- Reduced sleep time: Many Muslims may experience reduced sleep time during Ramadan due to the need to wake up early for suhoor and the increased time spent in prayer and other religious activities during the month.
Tip: Try to make up for lost sleep by taking short naps during the day or finding time to rest during breaks in your schedule. Be mindful not to overdo it with naps and not to disrupt your sleep schedule at night.
- Changes in sleep quality: The lack of food and water during the day can cause dehydration and hunger, which can affect sleep quality and lead to difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.
Tip: It is important to stay hydrated during Ramadan and to drink plenty of water during the non-fasting hours. Avoid caffeine and other stimulants before bedtime, as they can disrupt your sleep.
- Daytime napping: Some Muslims may choose to take a nap during the day to make up for the lack of sleep during the night. While daytime napping can be beneficial for some, it can also disrupt the natural sleep-wake cycle and lead to difficulty sleeping at night.
Tip: If you choose to nap during the day, try to keep it short (15-30 minutes) and avoid napping too close to bedtime. Keep your napping area cool, dark, and quiet to promote relaxation and improve the quality of your sleep.
- Relaxation techniques: Engaging in relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, and stretching before bedtime can help you relax and prepare for a restful night's sleep.
Tip: Incorporate relaxation techniques into your bedtime routine, such as taking a warm bath, reading a book, or listening to soothing music. This will help you unwind and reduce the stress that can interfere with your sleep.
It is important to prioritize sleep during Ramadan and adjust your sleep routine as needed. By establishing a consistent sleep schedule, staying hydrated, avoiding stimulants, and engaging in relaxation techniques, you can improve the quality of your sleep and cope with the changes during this holy month.
Also in your guide to better sleep
how many hours of sleep do you really need?
8 sleep apps to help you snooze better
The power of deep sleep
We all know sleep is crucial to our health, but deep sleep in particular is what plays the most powerful part of all. Deep sleep is good sleep and as with every sleep stage, is essential for feeling rested and remaining healthy, so you can function at your best each day. Read on to find out what exactly deep sleep is, the restorative benefits and how much you should be getting each night.
Benefits of deep sleep
Even though each stage of sleep benefits your overall health, deep sleep is what leaves you feeling rested and restored and has specific physical and mental benefits.
Slow wave sleep is when your body releases lots of restorative hormones such as growth hormone and works to build and repair muscles, bones and tissues and is vital to a functioning immune system. It also boosts memory consolidation and cognitive function.
What’s more, there’s been discoveries in the past decade that have revealed the brain flushes away harmful waste during deep sleep, the removal of this waste actually helps your brain to process and store memories.
The discovery of this brain infrastructure - known as the glymphatic system - brought about new research and innovation, not only about sleep, but also aging, dementia and brain injury, leading to the publication of many research papers.
How much deep sleep do I need?
Most adults need around 7-9 hours of sleep and this gives the body sufficient time for the deeper stages of sleep, and 12-20% of our over all night time sleep should be deep sleep.
If you are suffering from sleep deprivation or get short amounts of sleep over the course of a week, then you may spend more time in deep sleep. Also, as we age, less time is spent in deep sleep and more time is spent in light sleep.
What are the signs I’m not getting enough deep sleep?
Not getting enough deep sleep can leave you with a feeling of fatigue, along with a number of other negative effects on your body. You may have trouble consolidating new memories and a lack of sleep can lead to an increase in appetite for high calorie food. But by catching up on sleep, you can help to reverse some of these negative effects. If you’re providing yourself with enough opportunity to sleep for the recommended 7-9 hours per night then these could be signs you are not getting enough deep sleep:
Not feeling refreshed
Reduced alertness and attention
Find it hard to learn and form new memories
Crave high calorific food
How can I get more deep sleep?
Making sure to stick to a consistent sleep-wake schedule helps to develop a healthy sleep routine for your body. So, getting the quality sleep you need each night goes a long way to helping you get the right amount of deep sleep as our bodies will produce the right amount of each sleep stage if given enough time and the right environment. If you struggle to get the sleep you need, there are a number of things that can help, including:
A mattress that offers the right support and comfort levels can play a vital role in helping you fall asleep and stay asleep.
Create the best sleep environment - your bedroom should be dark, cool and quiet
Aim to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day
Get plenty of regular exercise consisting of 20-30 minutes each day. This can be as simple as walking. This exercise should not be too close to bedtime or it may affect your sleep.
Eat a healthy diet, and avoid large meals close to bedtime.
Reduce your caffeine intake, and avoid caffeine in the evenings.
Create a wind-down routine. Find something relaxing such as reading a book, or listening to relaxing music to calm you and signal to your brain that it’s time to go to sleep.