Insomnia during Ramadan
Ramadan times and present summer days seem to bring about many symptoms mainly due to the hot weather. The holy month with the late night meals changes the lifestyle of the community. There is also an increase in the frequency of gathering with relatives and friends. As a result, one faces an acute lack of sleep during the night. All this leads to laziness, sleepiness and mood swings during the day.
If these symptoms are not unknown to you then you are familiar with insomnia even if you do not name it. So, what is insomnia? We can basically define insomnia as the inability to fall asleep or remain asleep. It is also used to describe the condition of waking up not feeling restored or refreshed. Insomnia is the most common sleep complaint among people. It can be either acute, lasting one to several nights, or chronic, even lasting months to years.
During Ramadan, people more often experience chronic insomnia, which means difficulty sleeping for a few nights, followed by a few nights of adequate sleep before the problem returns. The problem may also be because of the habit of going straight to work after the morning meals in usual days.
According to American Psychiatric Association, there are some criteria to diagnose insomnia. The predominant complaint is difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep, or non-restorative sleep, for at least one month. The sleep disturbance (or associated daytime fatigue) causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning. The sleep disturbance does not occur exclusively during the course of narcolepsy, breathing-related circadian rhythm sleep disorder, or parasomnia.
The disturbance does not occur exclusively during the course of another mental disorder (e.g., major depressive disorder, generalised anxiety disorder or a delirium).
Students as well as working people must maintain a healthy eating and sleeping habit. There is no need at all to stay up awake after morning meals during Ramadan just because one cannot sleep. Try reading the Holy Quran or some other book that usually soothes the nerves. Going to bed and getting up at roughly the same time every day will programme your body to sleep better. Choose a time when you are most likely to feel sleepy. We love our tea and are addicted to coffee. Cut down on the caffeine, especially in the evening. It interferes with the process of falling asleep and prevents deep sleep.
The effects of caffeine can last a long time (up to 24 hours) so the chances of it affecting sleep are significant. Have a warm, milky drink or herbal tea instead. If you are a regular smoker, it is hard to abstain from smoking for at least 16 hours during Ramadan, but it is very bad for sleep and not to forget other health concerns. Keep all the above in mind and be 'don't worry be happy' in bed while sleeping.