While all stages of sleep are important, REM sleep, or stage 4, is particularly important for healthy brain development. It plays an important role in processing emotions and memories, as well as in dreams.
On average, as adults, we need two hours of REM sleep a night, but during Ramadan, research shows that this type of sleep decreases.
This may be due to eating a larger meal later, when Muslims fast at sunset. Subsequent food intake increases metabolic rate and therefore increases core body temperature. And any change in your basal body temperature can reduce the quality of your sleep.
How can you ensure that you get the best sleep possible during the month of Ramadan? MattressNextDay’s sleep experts share their thoughts.
Plan a new activity every night to reduce your ‘sleep debt’
Before Ramadan, you should set a new bedtime and try to stick to it during the holy month.
And with this new routine, be sure to include a reasonable bedtime. And while you probably won’t get seven to nine hours a night, try to get as much sleep as possible after iftar.
Also, be sure to set a time to wake up, eat, and if possible go to sleep again before you get up for work.
Step outside to enjoy the natural sunlight.
If you’re feeling tired from sleeping late and waking up early, get out! Natural light has a powerful effect on your circadian rhythm (signaling when to sleep and when to be alert) and being outside, even for a short time, can help you feel more alert during the day.
watch what you eat
Some people may eat foods high in calories and sugar during Iftar.
Eating these types of foods can overload your digestive system at night as your body tries to digest the food.
This can cause discomfort when trying to sleep. Also, sugary foods can cause spikes and dips in blood sugar levels.
These spikes release hormones that can keep you up at night.
Make sure you stay hydrated
While there isn’t much research linking more water to better sleep, hydration is key to your health. Also, drinking less water can lead to spending less time sleeping.
And during the month of Ramadan, you should incorporate a water-drinking schedule into your new bedtime routine.
Keep water close to you when you fast and before sunrise. You can also set an alarm to drink water (so make sure you drink a glass every hour) or even try associating water with checking your phone.
So if you check your phone, make sure you drink water at the same time.
20 minute nap
If you can do it during the day, we recommend setting a bedtime.
And you shouldn’t take a nap for more than 20 minutes, because you might fall into a deep sleep. This is enough time to feel refreshed without disturbing your night’s sleep.
Source: Arabic RT