Understand the requirements of your body and soul to sleep easy.
By Asma Hasan Ismacil
We all have a pretty good idea about the benefits of sleep and the consequences of not sleeping properly. I mean, how many times has your entire day been ruined just because you didn’t sleep properly! How often were you not able to focus or got fatigued or a bad headache just because your sleep was disturbed.
So, if sleep is so important, let’s figure out some simple ways to get better and more fulfilling sleep, in sha Allah.
- Fix sleep time and stick to it.
Develop a habit of sleeping at a fixed time in the night so that your mind gets used to this cycle. This is a powerful habit and if you adopt it, it will seriously boost your life. And to make this habit as beneficial as possible, sleep early at night so that you can wake up early.
We need an average 7-8 hours of sleep every day so to increase our productivity we can sleep earlier to wake up early. For example, if I sleep at 9pm, I will wake up at 4am. I can make use of those blessed hours by praying tahajjud, reading Qur’an etc.
So, start sleeping a specific time from tonight and enjoy the results, in sha Allah.
- Perform wudu’ before going to bed.
One of the best ways to end a long day is to sleep in a state of purity and that is by making wudu’.
Al-Bara’ bin ‘Azib (May Allah be pleased with them) reported:
Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) directed me thus: “Whenever you go to bed, perform Wudu’ as you do for Salat then (before sleeping) recite:
اللهم أَسْلَمْتُ نَفْسِي إِلَيْكَ، وَوَجَّهْتُ وَجْهِي، وَأَلْجَأْتُ ظَهْرِي إِلَيْكَ، وَفَوَّضْتُ أَمْرِي إِلَيْكَ؛ رَغْبَةً وَرَهْبَةً إِلَيْكَ، لَا مَلْجَأَ وَلَا مَنْجَا مِنْكَ إِلَّا إِلَيْكَ، آمَنْتُ بِكِتَابِكَ الَّذِي أَنْزَلْتَ، وَبِنَبِيِّكَ الَّذِي أَرْسَلْتَ
Allahumma aslamtu nafsi ilaika, wa wajjahtu wajhi ilaika, wa fawwadtu amri ilaika, wa ‘alja’tu zahri ilaika, raghbatan wa rahbatan ilaika, la malja’a wa la manja illa ilaika. Amantu bikitabikal-ladhi anzalta, wa nabiyyikal-ladhi arsalta
‘O Allah! I have submitted myself to You, I have turned myself to You, committed my affairs to You and sought Your refuge for protection out of desire for You and fear of You (expecting Your reward and fearing Your punishment). There is no refuge and no place of safety from you but with you. I believe in the Book you have revealed and in the Prophet (ﷺ) you have sent.”
Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) added: “If anyone recites these words and dies during the night, he will die on the true Deen, and if he remains alive till the morning, he will obtain good. And make this supplication your last words (before sleeping).”
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim Book 5, Hadith 814]
By making wudhu you leave this world spiritually pure
- Evaluate your day. Make every day count.
Think back on your day, asking yourself:
- Have I done something productive today, which will impact my life?
- What I have done to come closer to Allah, today?
- Who all did I meet today and what kind of a conversation did we have? Was it pleasing to Allah?
- Was there any unsatisfactory event that took place in my life today? What can I do to avoid such an event in the future?
- What am I committed to changing in myself tomorrow?
When you evaluate your day in such a way you’ll either come to a conclusion which is satisfactory, or the opposite. Just make a promise to yourself that you will make your tomorrow much better than your today and have tawakkul on Allah.
- Steer clear from caffeine.
Yup, for a smooth, healthy sleep you have to avoid caffeine at least 5-6 hours before your sleep.
If you take caffeine right before going to bed, you won’t be able to sleep on the time you’ve set for yourself and that will throw the entire schedule off track for the night as well as the next day! So ask yourself: is that cup of coffee really worth it?
Caffeine temporarily makes us feel more alert by blocking sleep-inducing chemicals in the brain and increasing the production of adrenaline.
- Unplug, switch off.
It’s highly recommended that you avoid using your electronic devices, especially your mobile, and not take it to bed with you. If possible, try leaving it in another room as these devices are a great source of distraction. They interfere with the body’s natural rhythm, effectively tricking our bodies into believing it’s daytime, according to Dr Charles Czeisler, a professor of sleep medicine at Harvard University.
Dr Guy Meadows, insomnia specialist at The Sleep School, London. Dr Meadows leaves his Smartphone in the kitchen at night.
More controversially, there are suggestions that sleeping with your mobile by your bed may cause dizziness and headaches.
So to make your sleep a stress-free and distraction-free experience, make sure you keep your mobile phone away from your sleeping corner.
- Remember the adhkaar
We’ve kept the best for the last. In the sunnah of RasoolAllah ﷺ we have plenty of azkaar and duas that should be read before sleeping. These have immense benefits, both physically and spiritually.
- Recite Ayat- ul-Kursi to ensure a guardian appointed over you from Allah who will protect you during the night, and Satan will not be able to come near you until morning” [Al-Bukhari]
- Recite the last two ayat of Surah Al Baqarah for the Prophet ﷺ said: “He who recites the two Ayat at the end of Surat Al-Baqarah at night, they will suffice him.” [Tirmidhi, Graded Sahih, Vol. 5, Book 42, Hadith 2881]
- Recite Surat Al-Mulk – for protection from the punishment of the grave. [Sahihul Jamiea 1/680, Hakim 2/498 & Nasai]
I heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) saying, “There is a Surah in the Qur’an which contains thirty Ayat which kept interceding for a man until his sins are forgiven. This Surah is ‘Blessed is He in Whose Hand is the dominion.’ (Surat Al-Mulk 67).” [At-Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud Book 9, Hadith 1016]
- Recite Surat Al-Kāfirūn
It was narrated that Nawfal al-Ashja’i (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allaah (ﷺ) said to me: “Recite Qul yaa ayyuha’l-kaafiroon then go to sleep at the end of it, for it is a disavowal of shirk.” [Abu Dawood 5055 and al-Tirmidhi 3400]
- Recite the last three surahs (Quls) of the Quran
It was narrated from Aa’ishah (رضي الله عنها) that when the Prophet (ﷺ) went to bed every night, he would hold his hands together and blow into them, and recite into them Qul Huwa Allaahu Ahad, Qul a’oodhu bi rabb il-falaq and Qul a’oodhu bi rabb il-naas. Then he would wipe them over whatever he could of his body, starting with his head and face and the front of his body, and he would do that three times. [Bukhari]
There are also some extremely beneficial duas that we must make before sleeping.
- If one of you rises from his bed and then returns to it he should dust it with the edge of his garment three times for he does not know what has occurred in his absence and when he lies down he should supplicate:
بِاسْمِكَ رَبِّي وَضَعْتُ جَنْبِي، وَبِكَ أَرْفَعُهُ، فَإِنْ أَمْسَكْتَ نَفْسِي فَارْحَمْهَا، وَإِنْ أَرْسَلْتَهَا فَاحْفَظْهَا، بِمَا تَحْفَظُ بِهِ عِبَادَكَ الصَّالِحِينَ
Bismika Rabbee wadha’tu janbee, wa bika ‘arfa’uhu, fa’in ‘amsakta nafsee farhamhaa, wa ‘in ‘arsaltahaa fahfadhhaa, bimaa tahfadhu bihi ‘ibaadakas-saaliheen.
In Your name my Lord, I lie down and in Your name I rise, so if You should take my soul then have mercy upon it, and if You should return my soul then protect it in the manner You do so with Your righteous servants.
[Bukhari 11/126 and Muslim 4/2084]
- The Prophet (ﷺ) would place his right hand under his cheek when about to sleep and say this three times:
اللَّهُمَّ قِنِي عَذَابَكَ يَوْمَ تَبْعَثُ عِبَادَكَ
Allaahumma qinee ‘athaabaka yawma tab’athu ‘ibaadaka.
O Allah, protect me from Your punishment on the day Your servants are resurrected.
[Abu Dawud 4/311]
Also, you should read this dua:
بِاسْمِكَ اللَّهُمَّ أَمُوتُ وَأَحْيَا
Bismikallahumma amootu wa-ahya
In Your name O Allah, I live and die
2. If afraid to go to sleep or feeling lonely or depressed then recite:
أَعُوذُ بِكَلِمَاتِ اللهِ التَّامَّاتِ مِنْ غَضَبِهِ وَعِقَابِهِ، وَشَرِّ عِبَادِهِ، وَمِنْ هَمَزَاتِ الشَّيَاطِينِ وَأَنْ يَحْضُرُونِ
A’oothu bikalimaatil-laahit-taammaati min ghadhabihi wa ‘iqaabihi, wa sharri ‘ibaadihi, wa min hamazaatish-shayaateeni wa ‘an yahdhuroon.
I seek refuge in the Perfect Words of Allah from His anger and His punishment, from the evil of His slaves and from the taunts of devils and from their presence.
[Abu dawud 4/12 – Albani, Sahih At-Tirmithi 3/171]