Sleep during Ramadan

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar.

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. It’s the time of the month to purify the body and soul, refocus on Allah and practice self-restraint. You have to refrain from evil thoughts, actions and words. It’s a time to forgive the people who did you wrong, get rid of bad habits and strengthen your family. Food and drinks are not allowed during daytime hours. Not to mention, it is mandatory for bid 5 times a day and the most important time to pray is during the night and morning pray: Tarawih. The tremendous life changes mess up with the whole sleep system that you were used to. This can cause laziness, sleepiness and mood swings during the day. With a little care and discipline you can minimize the impact.

Overeating

One of the problems that can arise is overeating at night. The three meals a day are replaced by two meals. It’s very tempting to eat heavier, richer and fatter. You also tend to drink more fluids since you’re not allowed to drink during the day. This can lead to digesting problems or it makes you want to sleep directly after the meal, which is unhealthy. In addition with increased night activities, you metabolism changes resulting in higher body temperature and reduce sleep. The number of hours of sleep can also be reduced since you have to get up and pray.

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No difference

Small studies have shown that there is no difference in the amount of sleep during the Ramadan and other months. The difference is in the wake up and sleeping time. Sudden change in the waking and sleeping schedule can cause sleepiness during the day and mood swings.

Dr Nizamuddin Gulsha, specialist at Medicine clinic Mirdif advise for those who are fasting to avoid sleeping in the morning. Studies have shown that daytime sleepiness peaks between 2 and 4pm during the Ramadan. It is acceptable to take a nap in the afternoon but not to sleep in the mornings.

Some food tips for during the Ramadan

  • Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. They are good to hydrate the body and get vitamins and minerals. Cucumber, watermelon, orange, pineapple, mango and tomato contain a lot of water. Try to make a fruit or vegetable smoothie. Also, make sure you use fresh fruits and vegetables to get the optimal amount of vitamins and minerals.
  • Eat complex carbohydrates. 40-70% of energy comes from carbohydrates. Whole wheat bread and pasta, oatmeal and brown rice are some options. The body can spend hours digesting those carbohydrates.
  • Avoid too sweet, too fat, too spicy and too salty food. It makes you thirsty and those unhealthy snakes can make you feel full quickly, but have absolutely no nutrition, which makes you feel hungry again right after. Try to bake or grill instead of frying if you’re looking for something greasy.
  • Eat proteins. It provides energy and keeps the muscles healthy. Cottage cheese, tuna, salmon, lean beef, beans and eggs are some protein-rich foods.
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