Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
I have had difficulty adjusting my sleep schedule since I’ve begun praying for Fajr. Any tips/advice?
Thank you for your question. One may indeed find a hard time getting back to sleep or getting up when the prayers are so close together. May Allah Most High give all those who worship him relief, ease, and energy.
Nourishing the Spirit
Allah Most High told us in the Quran, “I did not create jinn and humans except to worship Me.” [Quran, 51:56] This should be the basis of all your decisions, routines, trips, job, studies, and social life. It is the reason for existence, and I encourage you to see life as something that facilitates worship and not the other way around.
The first thing to remember is that “Prayer is better than sleep,” as mentioned in the adhan (call to prayer). Although it may seem that one’s sleeping hours are not adding up, prayer gives the body, mind, and soul spiritual nourishment that awakens the heart and keeps one going throughout the day. It defies logic but has been experienced by many, and people will continue to benefit from fighting sleep for prayer for this reason.
After this, taking care of oneself is commendable, and avoiding getting burnt out regularly. Try the following steps:
- Make sincere dua before you sleep and ask Allah to assist you in waking up for Fajr; several scholars I know never use alarm clocks but rely on their dua.
- Take a power nap during the day
- Sleep on wudu (ablution), as is the sunna.
- Pray Isha at its earliest time.
- Pray tahajjud right before Fajr, and then pray Fajr, and then go back to sleep, as you will get to sleep longer.
- In countries where the time between Isha and Fajr is less than 5 or 6 hours, consider going to bed after Maghrib, pray Isha and tahajjud before Fajr, and then pray Fajr. Then go back to sleep. I know some professionals who pray to Isha like this because they start their workdays at 5 am.
- Don’t drink coffee at the wrong times; some stop drinking at noon, some at 5 pm, for example.
- Try taking melatonin before bed.
- Please avoid using your phone before bed; leave it charging in a different room. The blue light overstimulates your body and confuses your internal clock, making it much harder to fall asleep and rest well.
- Make tawba before sleeping, as our sins may be holding us back. Sins can become obstacles to worship, so overcome them by repenting and seeking Allah’s forgiveness.
- Thank Allah Most High for your blessings before falling asleep as He increases those who are grateful
Please see these links as well:
How to Pray Fajr Prayer on Time?
Sleeping through a Prayer or Forgetting to Pray
The Importance of Fajr Prayer and How to Pray It on Time
Delaying Isha Until Shortly Before Fajr
May Allah Most High give you the best of this world and the next.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqida, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.