Sleep is a miracle cure. Getting not enough sleep is not only a bad idea, but it is also a sure-fire way to increasing your risk of many serious health problems, including weight gain and diabetes.
In the past, whenever I was pressed for time, the very first thing I used to do was cut my sleep. I thought it was the most logical thing to do in order to increase my productivity.
But, lo and behold, I was wrong! Every time I cut my sleeping hours, I felt more irritated and had a hard time focusing on anything meaningful. So while I had more hours to work, I was feeling miserable and least productive.
And when I came across this Ayah in the Quran, I was awe struck. It was then that I realised that getting adequate sleep is one of the pillars of a healthy, meaningful and productive life:
“And we made your sleep as a thing for rest” (Al-Quran, 78.9)
And sleep isn’t just a thing for rest; rather it’s a right that we owe to our body:
The Prophet (PBUH) told one of his companions who was praying the whole night “Offer prayers and also sleep at night, as your body has a right on you” (Sahih Buhary)
What science says on sleep
Though scientists are still scratching their head as to why we sleep, they agree on one thing: we need sleep in order to rest adequately so that we can function well the next day.
While rest is the biggest and the most significant benefit of sleep, the emerging research studies confirm that sleep is incredibly important for our memory and learning ability too.
Research studies show that getting less than 7 hours of sleep impacts our memory and learning ability negatively. Those who had less than 7 hours of sleep recalled more negative things than positive ones during the day. And that’s scary! Because this is correlated with depression, as depressed people remember negative things more frequently.
Here are some of the most important benefits of sleep:
- Sleep improves our memory.
- Sleep improves our performance
- Sleep helps our body to replenish itself
- Sleep reduces stress and the risk of depression
- Sleep help us become smarter, more active and more productive
- Sleep helps us to lose weight
Make sure you get at least 7 hours of sleep every day in order to get these benefits. To function optimally, 97.5% of human beings need 7-9 hours of sleep daily.
Best time to sleep
We know from the Sunnah that the Prophet (PBUH) would go to sleep early, soon after ‘Isha. “He (PBUH) used to dislike sleeping before ‘Isha and speaking afterwards.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari)
And we also know that “early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”
Even science says that sleeping from 9 PM to 5 AM is better than sleeping from 1 AM to 9 AM. In fact, sleeping late or being awake the whole night is a great way to destroy your health.
A recent study on night shift nurses showed this alarming trend: women nurses, who work overnight, have significantly higher risks of developing breast cancer than nurses who didn’t work night shifts.
Sleep is a necessity, not a luxury!
The takeaway message from this article is this: sleep is a necessity, not a luxury! In fact, sleep is a life-saving and life-enhancing tool.
Recent research concludes that those who slept less than 7 hours are typically three times more prone to catch a cold than those who slept more than 7 hours.
So cutting down on your sleep isn’t a good idea if you want to live a lean and healthy life.
In our upcoming course, we teach all the nitty-gritties of sleep so that you can master your sleep and live a lean and healthy life.