Crashing:How To Make A healthy One
By Sulaiman Hayatudeen
Think of your daily activities. Which activity is so important that you should devote sometime doing? Probably the first thing that comes to your mind are working, praying, visiting family and friends or doing some physical activities. But there is something also you should schedule to be doing within or after your daily activities-“sleeping” termed by students as “crashing”.
Many people view sleep as just “night time” when the body rest and their brains shut off which some tends to avoid it, thinking it won’t be a problem because other responsibilities seems much important especially in school when students read all night (TDB- Till Day Break) in preparation for examination. But research shows that a number of vital tasks carried out during the sleep help stay healthy and function at their best.
What about sleeping? Scholars have describe sleep as a condition during which the body’s instinctive heat becomes idle. So that the body gets some rest and the brain is hard at work forming the pathway necessary for learning and creating memories and new insight which without enough of it (sleep) one cannot focus and pay attention or respond quickly. Lack of sleep may cause mood problems, increasing risk of obesity, diabetes, cardio vascular diseases and infection.
Several Research has shown that sleep is divided into two basic types: Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep and Non-REM sleep termed by other scholars as Abnormal and Normal type of sleep respectively. Typically, Sleep begins with the Non REM (Normal) sleep which entails resting the inner powers and senses, making them idle. The body refrains from its usual activity and thus the vapor and wetness that were moving and decomposing while awake would ascend to the brain which is the residence of these powers, then the brain becomes idle. All this happens in Three (3) stages.
In stage 1: one sleep lightly and can be awaked easily by noise and other disturbance with eyes moving slowly, muscles relaxed, heart and breath rates beginning to slow.
In stage 2: Ones eyes movement stops, slower brain waves with occasional burst of rapid waves spending about half the night in this stage. Progressing into stage 3: one brain waves become even slower and the brain produce extremely slow waves almost exclusively. One have a very deep sleep at this stage during which is difficult to be awakened which is necessary for feeling well rested. Heart and respiratory rates are slow and muscles are relaxed.
Abnormal (heavy) sleep is typically entered about an hour and a half after falling asleep. Also occurs mostly at first instance because of accident or a disease. In this case, the excess wetness will take over the brain in a manner that prevent the person from waking up easily or excessive amount of vapor and moisture ascend to the brain, just as what happened aftermath of overeating or overdrinking and cause the brain to relax and thus the person goes to sleep. During the REM sleep, your eyes moves rapidly in different directions, even though your eyelid stays closed. Your breathing also becomes more rapid, irregular and shallow and your heart rate and blood pressure increase. Dreaming typically occurs during REM sleep. During this type of sleep, your arm and leg muscles are temporarily paralyzed so that you cannot “act out” any dreams that you may be having.
Why sleeping? Although, one may put off going to sleep in order to squeeze more activities into your day, eventually the need for sleep becomes overwhelming. The sense get to rest from the fact that overtakes them, in this case, the senses will rest from the tiresome activity that occurs when is awake. Two substance are produced by our body. The production of adenosine by our body takes place while we are awake. When one sleep, the body breaks down the substance thereby making the level of this substance in the body to trigger the need for our sleep. Melatonin; a hormone forming part of our internal “biological clock” make us feel sleep at night controlling when we feel sleepy, and our sleeping pattern, the biological clock is a small bundle of cells in our brain that works throughout the day and night. The benefits of digestion of food and leading the various mixture, conditions or temperaments to maturity (processing bodily waste) also trigger the need for a sleep. When one Is asleep, his instinctive energy or heat concentration on the digestion process and this is why the body gets cold and needs to cover while one is asleep
Then, how do we enjoy the best of sleep? The best type of sleep to yield the most beneficial enjoyment for the body, the organs, and one’s strength is following the Prophet’s guidance concerning sleeping. The best of all consultants and the last of all Prophets (pbuh). After all daily activities, the prophet (pbuh) used to sleep in the early part of the night and did not over sleep or deprive his body of unnecessary sleep but only sleep when is warranted and would lay on his right side, remember Allah in supplication until sleep overwhelmed his eyes, his body not burdened with overeating or overdrinking, neither slept on bare floor nor on high bed (pbuh) making his method in this regard the most perfect.
Ibn Qay’em El- Jozeyah described that the best of sleep is for one to sleep on his right side so that the food sits in the stomach comfortably, for the stomach leans to left side. One could in addition lay on his left side so that the digestion is made faster because the stomach leans on the liver. One should then turn again on his right side to help the stomach push the food down the stomach and this way one starts and end his sleep while laying on is right side, sleeping on the left side regularly harm the heart because the organs of the body will pressure the heart with their weight.
One of the worst types of sleep is on the back, although resting while laying on the back without going to sleep is not harmful. Sleeping on the stomach is the worst way to sleep, Ahmad and Ibn majah narrated that Abu Umamah said: “the Prophet (pbuh) passed by a sleeping man in the mosque who was laying on his face (stomach) and he touched him with his foot saying: ‘Sit up, for it is a Hellish sleep”. It was said that the wisdom behind sleeping on the right side of the body is that person does not oversleep, since the heart leans towards the left side, then sleeping on the right side prevents the heart from residing in its normal place thus causing the sleeping person to wake up when he feels restless. Sleeping on the left side makes the heart comfortable and thus makes the person oversleeps and misses out on the affairs of his life and religion.
When can we sleep? Good habit of sleeping help the natural powers of the body to fulfill their tasks and in addition strengthens the psychological health of the person. Sleeping during the day is bad for the health of the person and causes humid ailments, makes the color pale, ails the spleen, soften the nerves, causes laziness and wakens desire. The worst type of sleep occurs in the early hours of the day and in the afternoon. Ibn Abass once saw his son sleeping in the early morning and said to him, “wake up! Do you sleep at the hour during which sustenance is being divided,” sleeping during the early morning prevents sustenance from coming, in that the early morning is the time when the creation goes out to seek their sustenance. Being asleep during this time causes one to miss out on this chance of giving sustenance, except when one sleeps for a necessity or a need. This type of sleep is in addition very harmful for the body because it causes numbness in the senses and spoil the stomach’s contents that should have being decomposed through physical activities.
Generally, it is said that sleeping during the day is of three types: Good habit, which entails sleeping around noon; Careless habit, which occurs in the early morning and keeps one busy from matters of this life and the next life; and madness, which occurs after ‘Asr (afternoon). This is why some of the scholars said: “Those who sleep after Asr and lose their minds should only blame their own selves”. In addition; it is part of the prophets guidance to perform ablution like that for a prayer before going to bed and lie on the right side remembering our faith in Allah and making such words the last of our speech at that time, since one might die in sleep, he will then enter paradise If these words of faith were the last words he uttered in this world.
May Allah protect us all.