Around 40 patients are referred to the sleep disorders clinic at Hamad General Hospital every week during Ramadan.
Ramadan has long been a period of spiritual increase and lifestyle change, especially with the stark shift in hours for food consumption.
For this reason, sleep schedule is also massively changed, with some finding it more difficult to get a proper night’s rest, especially due to the pre-fast meal in the early hours of the dawn.
According to experts at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), excessive eating during the fast-breaking and pre-fast meals, iftar and suhoor, are attributed to the poor sleep quality.
Speaking to Qatar News Agency (QNA) on Friday, Senior Consultant in Medicine Aisha Hussain stressed the importance of paying attention to food habits throughout Ramadan for better sleep.
The sleep medicine expert noted that consuming fried food and meals high in sugar play a major role in sleep quality, urging those observing the fasts to consume moderate amounts of food with high nutritional value.
In another piece of advice, the expert recommended “resetting the sleeping and waking times” while decreasing the consumption of caffeinated drinks during the non-fasting periods.
“This was especially important for people who have previously had sleep problems and disorders,” she said, as cited by QNA.
Hussain stressed that meal times do affect an individual’s biological clock and this leads to sleepiness, headaches, and even mood swings. So much so, that Hamad General Hospital often sees a surge in the number of patients referred to the sleep disorders clinic every Ramadan, she revealed.
According to the HMC expert, around 40 patients are referred to the clinic per week.
However, Hussain recommended pre-bed relaxing activities, including listening to the Quran, taking a warm bath, doing light yoga, and avoiding electronic devices to fix broken sleeping patterns.
“It is much better to completely turn off these devices at least 30 minutes before bedtime, ensure that the room temperature is appropriate, sleep in a cool, quiet, and comfortable place,” she told QNA.