If you’ve started waking up early and working in those early hours of the day as we recommend at ProductiveMuslim.com, you’ll find that it’s pretty hard to be consistent each and every day with this routine. And when you search for the reasons for this inconsistency, you’ll realise that it’s mainly because it’s hard to regulate your sleep; one day you sleep well, so you wake up early and can work hard. Other days, you don’t sleep so well and those early hours are pretty difficult to maintain.
Sleep, as any other activity we do as humans, can be optimized by planning well in advance and following a particular routine each night. You might think: “Dude, I just crash and sleep”. Well, that’s one way of doing it, but here’s another routine. Try it out and tell me if sleep doesn’t become a rewarding, spiritual and fulfilling experience for you after this.
The following sleep routine requires you to prepare for it at least 90 minutes BEFORE you actually sleep. And it’s basically dividing those 90 minutes into 3 parts:
- One third for Your Lord
- One third for Your Self
- One third for Your Sleep
1. One third for Your Lord:
This starts with you making wudhu, brushing your teeth, putting on nice clothes and perfume and praying Tahajjud and Witr for Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) (Note: If you prefer to wake up before Fajr to pray these night prayers then definitely go with that. However, if you can’t trust yourself to wake up that early, it’s better that you pray Tahajjud and Witr Salah BEFORE you sleep). This is my favourite part of the sleep routine and favourite part of the day!
It’s such a calming experience after going through a long hard day, to stand in front of your Lord, recite His verses, supplicate to Him and ask Him of whatever you desire in this world and the Next. Do this for a couple of nights and you wouldn’t want to give up doing it! In fact, throughout your day, you’ll be anticipating this moment and looking forward to it!
2. One third for Your Self:
This is where you prepare yourself for sleep by putting on your pyjamas, getting into bed and reading a good book for at least 30 minutes. If you’re like me, ideas and thoughts will keep popping into your head as you read, and you will want to save them for later. For these, I have a plain notebook and pen/pencil next to me to scribble anything (and I mean anything) that pops in my head! You’ll be surprised how many great ideas originate from these 30 minutes.
Alternatively, instead of reading, you may spend these 30 minutes brainstorming on a plain notebook any ideas,plans, and projects you have in mind. You don’t have to come up with the ‘perfect’ idea/solution, but simply brainstorm as much as you can then literally “sleep on it” (as the saying goes). In the morning, you’ll be surprised at what your sub-conscious mind brings forth for you.
3. One third for Your Sleep:
I’ve said that this is a third for your sleep, but truly this is a third for your Lord to bless your sleep, and basically this involves going through the duas and verses that one should recite before sleeping as per the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). These include reciting Surah Al-Mulk and Surah Al-Sajdah and other supplications recommended before sleeping. For me, this last part of the routine is like the cherry on top of the cake! Nothing fills you with more tranquility than to sleep having uttered the words of Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala).
So there you have it, the ProductiveMuslim routine for Sleep. You may think it’s lengthy, but there has been no day that I’ve followed it, except that I’ve slept peacefully and woken up peacefully.
Hope it works well for you and that you have a productive sleep – Sweet dreams!