A short mid-day nap (Qailulah) is a Sunnah.
The value of this mid-day nap in total body relaxation has been appreciated recently by scientists.
Not only does a mid-day nap give relaxation to the body in day time but it is also very conducive to sleep at right.
Relaxing once during the day is very conducive to total relaxation and sleep.
It should be appreciated that insomnia is a “powerful stress in itself”. The Sunnah of short mid-day nap may, therefore, be practiced as a remedy for sleeplessness.
Furthermore, the sunnah is not necessarily to sleep during the day but to lie down for some time to relax. This is exactly what is required for proper relaxation according to the modem scientific investigations.
So Why Nap?
- Reduce stress! Siesta-loving persons are more relaxed. They usually score better on stress tests than others who don’t take a shortnap during the day.
- The risk of heart disease is shown to be greatly reduced by regular 30 minute naps.
- Naps greatly strengthen the ability to pay close attention to details and to make critical decisions.
- Naps taken about eight hours after you wake have been proved to do much more for you than if you added those twenty minutes onto already adequate nocturnal sleep.
Timing Is Everything!
A nap should be about 15 to 30 minutes in duration. If you nap longer than thirty minutes, your body falls into deep sleep, which is difficult to wake from and when you do, you’ll feel groggy
If you are severely sleep-deprived and must nap longer than 30 minutes, then you shouldn’t sleep less than an hour and a half, which is a complete sleep cycle. WARNING: Don’t expect to be fully alert until at least an hour after that nap.
A 15 minute nap is enough time to turn the nervous system off and can recharge the whole system!
If you are going to nap in the middle of the day, BE CONSISTENT and make a habit of napping everyday. An irregular napping schedule might disrupt your internal body clock. Napping only on weekends is like dieting or exercising only on weekends to make up for a week of overeating.
Brief naps taken daily are healthier than sleeping in or taking very long naps on the weekend. Be careful about taking that long nap on a lazy Sunday afternoon- you may find it hard to get to sleep that night and getting up on Monday to start the new week.
Late afternoon napping isn’t healthy- it delays your falling asleep time in the evening and begins to shift your biological clock.
Is There An Inborn Tendency To Nap?
Research indicates that the human body is inclined to rest in the middle of the afternoon as well as at night, even after adequate nocturnal sleep. A heavy lunch does not make you sleepy, it simply unmasks the physiological sleepiness that’s already in your body. The “post-lunch dip” in alertness occurs whether or not food is consumed. Our natural sleep pattern is biphasic: We have a significant drop in body core temperature and alertness at night, and a similar but smaller drop in the middle of the day. It’s then that you need a nap the most, especially if you have slept poorly the night before.
The posture one adopts while sleeping reveals a lot about the personality of the person, his attitude towards life and so on.
Lying down in bed relaxes the muscles of the body and the degree of relaxation is determined by the sleep posture adopted by the person.
In the semifoetal position the person lies on his side with arms and legs partially folded. The limbs are not kept in an exactly opposed position.
In terms of physical comfort, in this position it is possible to turn from side to side without undoing the set configuration of the body position. It is supposed to be the best position in terms of physical comfort. It has, therefore, been considered as the best position for relaxation.
According to an old proverb the kings are known to prefer to sleep on their back, the rich man on his stomach and th ewise man on his side.
These abovementioned observations bear testimony to the superiority of sleeping in semi-flexed position on one side.
The sleep position which was adopted by Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) is a Sunnah and is scrupulously adopted by devout Muslims. He used to lie on his right-side with limbs slightly flexed, right hand below his cheek and facing towrds Kaba Sharif. This position is similar to the semi-foetal position described above, and, obviously in the light of the existing knowledge about sleep posture, is the position adopted by a highly balanced person psychologically. It is also the best posture for relaxation, both physical and psychological. Adherence to this sleep posture should therefore, contribute a lot to total body relaxation