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Early Sleep: The Key to Physical and Mental Health - A Scientific Look at Its Benefits

Recent scientific studies indicate a significant correlation between sleep difficulties, specifically insomnia, and an increased risk of stroke. These findings, while forming part of a wider body of scientific research, underscore the indispensable role that sleep quality plays in preserving our overall health and well-being.

Scrutinizing research published in respected journals such as 'Neurology', the 'American Stroke Association', and 'Sleep Medicine', reveals a multitude of studies delving into this profound correlation. The emerging evidence from these studies suggests that insomnia transcends being merely a nocturnal annoyance, and instead, may play a critical role in amplifying the risk of stroke.

The implication of these findings is profound: enhancing sleep quality is not merely an aspiration for increased comfort and productivity. It represents a preventive strategy integral to maintaining cardiovascular health. But what guidance does religion, specifically Islam, offer on this matter? Does Islam acknowledge sleep as a human necessity and provide instructions to optimize its quality? The unequivocal answer is yes. Islam, being a comprehensive religion, places considerable importance on human physical and mental health. Islam views the human body as a trust from God Almighty, which must be protected and taken care of. Accordingly, the Islamic faith encourages the adoption of a balanced lifestyle, encompassing good quality sleep. Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, recommended early sleep and early rise, asserting that this sleep pattern promotes health and vitality.

One of the most significant Hadiths, which advocates for early sleep and waking, can be found in the authentic compilations of Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim. Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, has been quoted saying, "O Allah, bless my nation in its early hours". The term 'early hours' in this context implies the dawn period, suggesting that individuals who rise early and begin their tasks at dawn are poised to receive divine blessings.

Islam also emphasizes the significance of the Fajr prayer, necessitating Muslims to wake up early. This religious ordinance offers individuals the chance to initiate their day imbued with vitality, enlightenment, and divine blessings. This sentiment is echoed in the Quran, specifically in Surah Al-Isra, Verse 78, which translates as "Establish prayer at the decline of the sun [from its meridian] until the darkness of the night and [also] the Quran of dawn. Indeed, the recitation of dawn is ever witnessed." This verse highlights the importance of early rising to perform the Fajr prayer.

The practice of Prophet Muhammad himself, peace be upon him, further reinforces this concept. He would sleep after performing the Isha prayer and wake up before dawn for the Tahajjud prayer, underscoring the importance of early sleep and early waking in Islam.

On a scientific level, researchers have found that our bodies can better regulate the biological clock or circadian rhythm when we adhere to an early sleep routine. This regulation can lead to enhanced mood states and reduced stress levels. According to several scientific studies, such as one published in the 2018 issue of the 'Sleep' journal, individuals who sleep early often report greater levels of happiness and relaxation compared to those who sleep late.

Furthermore, early sleep is associated with improved memory and cognitive functions. During sleep, our brain cells process new information and consolidate memories. Therefore, early sleep can facilitate enhanced memory and learning capabilities. A study published in the 'Nature Neuroscience' journal in 2017 supports this claim.

Also, considering that sleep is a restorative period for the body, early sleep proves essential for maintaining cardiovascular health. Various scientific studies have corroborated this idea, linking inadequate or poor-quality sleep with increased risk of heart and vascular diseases.

IUMS Media Center 


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