Sleep deprivation and keeping odd hours is quite common during Ramazan. However, not getting enough sleep can take a toll on health, and make fasting difficult. Sleep is a physiological process and getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night, even during Ramazan, is essential for health.
Effect of sleep deprivation:
Sleep deprivation has been linked to overeating and weight gain. Sleep deprivation causes an increase in the hormone ghrelin which stimulates appetite in normal individuals.
When ghrelin increases, sleep-deprived people show an increase in consumption of calories especially, carbohydrate-rich foods. Overeating, in turn, causes acidity, and colonic discomfort that interrupt sleep. Thus, a vicious cycle of sleep interruption and sleep deprivation ensues.
Furthermore, sleep deprivation may cause circadian rhythm disorder, an example of which is delayed sleep phase disorder. According to Kate Bridle of London Sleep Center, Dubai, it can manifest as mood swings, headaches and daytime sleepiness. Even though sleeping at a stretch may not be possible in the month of Ramazan, it is important to make up for lost sleep with intermittent sleeping.
How to maintain a proper sleep cycle:
The improper sleep cycle can overshadow the normal schedule of a person. So how to maintain a proper sleep cycle? Well, it is important to make up for the lost sleep. For this, make a plan before Ramazan that befits your work and schedule.
Try sleeping earlier than normal following iftaar, or after Taraweeh, and then wake for suhoor; return back to sleep following fajar prayer, for two or three hours as per your work schedule. A nap in the afternoon before iftaar, after work, is also an option to make up for lost sleep.
Whatever schedule you decide for yourself, try to stick to it. Routine and schedule are important for the proper functioning of the body. It will ensure that you get full sleep and sticking to your schedule will also allow your body to adjust normal hormonal levels.
Take power naps:
If you get off work late, or you don’t have time for a pre-iftaar nap, then you can fit a small power nap between your day. Set an alarm—for say twenty minutes and do not sleep more than this. A power nap will refresh the body and prevent grogginess and tiredness. During power nap, the body goes into a deep sleep, and thus wakes up refreshed.
Maintain quality of sleep:
Apart from the quantity of sleep, it is also important to maintain the quality of sleep. To ensure a proper downtime, avoid spicy or heavy food at least two hours before sleep. Also, avoid caffeinated beverages at least six to seven hours before bed to prevent disruption of sleep. Make sure your environment is quiet and dark so there are no interruptions in your slumber.
If you are having trouble maintaining sleep despite trying everything, or you are suffering from the aftermath of sleep deprivation, then you should seek professional help. Book an appointment with top psychologist in Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad through oladoc.com, or call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 for assistance to find the RIGHT professional for your concerns.