Lack of sleep, especially in the UAE, is a serious concern that can lead to bigger issues. Among other things, lack of sleep can weaken the immune system’s defenses against viruses, increase the risk of high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes, and lead to issues related to heart disease.
Research has found that 90% of individuals in the UAE are sleep deprived, with only 46.42% sleeping for seven hours per night. Other studies have also found that one in four people residing in the UAE suffer from some form or symptom of sleep disorders.
According to Dr. Hady Jerdak, Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Diseases and Sleep Medicine at Medcare Hospital, it is important to pay close attention to signs of chronic fatigue. Repeated sleep problems can be the body’s way of hinting at something more. Increased stress levels, mood swings, and anxiety are all ways your body might be trying to tell you it’s suffering from a sleep disorder. The opposite is also true, with sleeping problems sometimes leading to anxiety disorders.
Paying attention to signs of chronic fatigue is paramount. Many people may simply be tired from a long week of demanding tasks to unwind from, but it’s also important to pay attention to such recurring occurrences as daytime headaches, frustration, and lack of concentration.
How to Ensure you Receive Adequate Rest During Ramadan
Ramadan always has people remaining awake at night and sleeping during the day. The sudden change of eating habits and timing, from day to night (fasting during daytime and eating at night) are accompanied by some physiological changes in the body.
Disrupting the sleep cycle can have some consequences on our health. Good quality sleep consists of 4-5 cycles of sleep where each cycle has 40% superficial sleep, 40% deep sleep and 20% rapid eye movement phase or dream phase. We usually do more deep sleep at the beginning of the night and more dreaming at the end of the night. During Ramadan, we are faced with a disruption of the normal sleep cycle since we need to wake up early to have Suhoor and sleep late in addition to eating heavily before sleep.
Tips to Ensure You Get Good Quality Sleep
- Make a plan before Ramadan which fits in with your schedule, follow something that you can stick to as best as possible.
- Schedule your prayer times.
- Find a quiet place away from the workstation, such as your car, and take a 20-minute nap when needed.
- Ensure your sleep environment is quiet and dark to get quality sleep without distracting factors.
- Staying away from gadgets like mobile phones and laptops is also proven to improve sleep as light signals the brain to remain awake and alert.
- Earplugs and eye masks work wonders for getting into and staying in a deep sleep.
- Do not consume heavy, calorie-loaded and sugar-rich foods at Iftar, it can affect quality sleep. Also, avoid very spicy foods and fried foods.
- Avoid coffee and caffeine-containing products, as there are stimulants and can interfere with sleep.
- Avoid processed and salty foods, which are high in sodium as they will cause dehydration.
- Sleep at least 2 hours after Iftar and don’t have a heavy Suhoor if you wish to sleep after that.
- Sleeping in a way to ensure that we stay awake after Suhoor is beneficial since sleeping after a heavy meal is not healthy. Hydrating ourselves well is also very important for quality sleep.