Sleep Science: How It Works & Tips To Improve
As Muslims living in a busy, western world, we understand the importance and necessity of a good night's sleep to help us relax after a stressful day.
In fact, it wasn't so different in the lifetime of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) who emphasised the importance of getting sufficient sleep.
The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “Take a nap, for the Shayateen do not take naps.”
Yet, despite the significance of sleep in our daily lives, many of us find it challenging to get enough of it. In this post, I want to expose some of the science behind sleep, exploring why most people need more of it and how taking certain supplements can help improve sleep quality whilst adhering to our Islamic principles.
Why is sleep so important? 🤔
The function of sleep has long been a mystery to scientists, but recent research has shed some light on why it's so crucial to our wellbeing. When we're asleep, our brains perform essential tasks like consolidating memories and processing emotions, while the body repairs and rejuvenates itself. In addition, sleep is vital for regulating metabolic functions, hormone production, and immune response.
The science behind sleep 👩🏽🔬
Our sleep is divided into two main stages: non-rapid eye movement (NREM) and rapid eye movement (REM).
During NREM sleep, our brain waves slow down, and our body undergoes physical repair and rejuvenation.
During REM sleep, our brain activity increases, and we experience vivid dreams.
The circadian rhythm responds to light cues received through the eyes. Melatonin, a hormone produced by the pineal gland, also plays a critical role in regulating sleep.
Exposure to light, especially blue light emitted by electronic devices, can limit melatonin production, making it harder to fall asleep.
From a diet point of view, consuming foods high in sugar or refined carbohydrates can cause blood sugar spikes and crashes, leading to disrupted sleep. On the other hand, foods high in protein and healthy fats can promote satiety and stabilise blood sugar levels, helping us stay asleep longer.
Can supplements help? 🧐
Certain supplements can help regulate sleep and get you into a deeper state of rest as they contain vital nutrients and ingredients, as well as being halal for Muslims to consume.
Crescent Days Dream Sticks contain blood sugar-regulating dates and the elements magnesium and L-Glycine, which are halal and which have been shown to promote relaxation and calmness, while also helping to regulate the sleep-wake cycle.
Dream Sticks also include Quranic foods like honey, figs and pomegranate, making it a healthy choice for those looking to improve their sleep quality.
5 quick tips to improve sleep quality ✅
On top of dietary supplements, several other measures can also be taken to improve our sleep quality. Here are some science-based tips:
Keep a consistent sleep schedule by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day
Avoid consuming caffeine and large meals close to bedtime. Of course, alcohol is forbidden so make sure to steer clear of anything that could contain this (including some mouthwashes)
Create a relaxing bedtime routine that helps you wind down before sleep
Ensure your sleeping environment is cool, dark, and quiet
Limit exposure to electronic devices, as the blue light emitted by screens can disrupt your circadian rhythm
A simple dua for sleep 🤲
Transliteration: Allahumma innaka khalaqta nafsee wa-anta tawaffaha, laka mamatuha wamahyaha in ahyaytaha fahfathha, wa-in amattaha faghfir laha. Allahumma innee as-alukal-AAafiyah.
Translation: O Allah, verily You have created my soul and You shall take its life, to You belongs its life and death. If You should keep my soul alive then protect it, and if You should take its life then forgive it. O Allah, I ask You to grant me good health.’
Remember, this is just one of many duas and supplications you can use to improve your sleep hygiene.
In This Article