The Ultimate Guide To Islamic Sleep Hygiene

Khadija Ahmed

July 12, 2023
Muslim woman preparing for bedtime routine, relaxing and winding down for a restful night's sleep

Good, restful sleep is something that most of us strive for as lives get busier, commitments increase, and priorities start to shift. But does Islam teach Muslims anything about how to sleep?

Yes, it does! Not only is sleep mentioned in The Holy Quran, but various hadith from the times of our Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) also note his routines relating to bedtime. That's what I'll be exploring in this article, so let's dive in.

The importance of sleep in Islam 💤

Islam recognises sleep as a vital physiological need and a gift from Allah (SWT). It's a time for our bodies to rest, rejuvenate, and prepare for the acts of worship and daily tasks that await us the following day.

“And among His signs is your sleep by night and by day and your seeking of His bounty, verily in that are signs for those who hearken” (30.23)

Pre-bedtime hygiene 🚿

Bedtime hygiene is a phrase that has become more prominent over the last few years, as health experts recognise the importance of setting yourself and your environment up in a way that's conducive to higher quality rest. Interestingly, there are also several Sunnah practices that pertain to sleep hygiene:

  1. Wudu (ablution): The Prophet (pbuh) recommended performing wudu before going to bed in an authenticated hadith in Sahih Bukhari 247. This act of cleanliness can also be a symbolic way of washing away the day's worries.

  2. Brushing your teeth: The Prophet (pbuh) placed great emphasis on oral hygiene, advising the use of Miswak (Sahih Bukhari 245)

  3. Dusting the bed sheets: It's Sunnah to dust off the bed before sleeping (Sahih Bukhari 7394), promoting cleanliness and hygiene

Dua before sleeping 💬

You're now all tucked up under the sheets but found yourself staring at the ceiling. Instead of counting sheep use this time instead to recite some basic duas, or supplications, to remember Allah and mark the end of the day.

"Bismika Rabbi wadatu janbi, wa bika arfa'uhu, in amsakta nafsi farhamha, wa in arsaltaha fahfazha bima tahfazu bihi ibadakas-salihin."

"With Your name my Lord, I lay myself down; and with Your name I rise. If You take my soul, have mercy on it, and if You send it back then protect it as You protect Your righteous servants."

Sleeping position 🛌

Is there a specific position Muslims should sleep in? In fact there is!

Whenever you go to bed, perform ablution like that for the prayer, and lie on your right side” [Sahih Muslim 2710]

It was narrated that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) slept on hi right hand side and would put his right hand under his cheek. Science has medically proven that sleeping on the right hand side also helps prevent acid reflux and reduces heartburn.

It is not advised for Muslims to sleep on their stomachs

Waking up for Fajr ⏰

You're now in a deep slumber but don't forget that the Fajr prayer marks the start of dawn and ends when the sun is visible in the sky. This is one of the hardest prayers to adhere to but is a staple pillar of our faith as with the other four prayers. The Prophet (pbuh) said:

"Satan ties three knots at the back of the head of any of you if he is asleep... and the first knot is untied when one wakes up and remembers Allah" (Sahih Bukhari 3269)

Upon waking up ☀️

It's morning and your eyes are just beginning to open after a restful sleep. It's Sunnah to repeat the following supplication:

"Alhamdulillah allathee ahyana ba'da ma amatana wa ilayhin nushoor."

"Praise is to Allah Who gives us life after He has caused us to die and to Him is the return." (Al-Bukhari)

The Qailulah: mid-day nap 😴

The Prophet (pbuh) is reported to have taken short naps in the mid-day, known as Qailulah. This practice has been found to have several health benefits, including improved alertness and mood.

The above faith-based hygiene tips can hopefully help you achieve a more restful night's sleep. And remember, even sleep is a gift from Allah, and it is He who chooses to give you life in the morning.
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