“He it is Who has Created night for you to be peaceful in, and daylight for you to see in. Indeed in all this are the signs for the group of those people who listen.”
Surah Younus (Surah 10), verse 67
Mom and my mom’s sister have ALWAYS said that. And I totally see their point. But there are so many things I have to do in one day that I can’t help but stay up late most of the time. The fact that shaitaan makes me irresistibly drowsy in the afternoons is what I need to address. I know that if I stay up those 3 hours I sleep in the afternoons, I could easily work my way towards a sensible sleeping time. A time that is in concordance with nature.
You would agree that when night falls, everything LOOKS as if it’s meant to be asleep. Like there is a purpose to the darkness, to the quiet that accompanies each night. I do have a problem with corporate for extending working hours to insensible schedules, with load shedding for wasting hours of the day, hours I could use to do my laundry and iron my clothes but they’re are all excuses my mind desperately formulates to escape the issue at hand.
Medically, mornings are great for the body. Cortisol (natural steroid) is released in a diurnal manner. Peak time is around 8 am in the morning and the lowest levels are around 12-4 am. Cortisol has many, many effects on the body. It’s basically a hormone released in stressful states. It helps release glucose (brain’s fuel), helps retain water and sodium in the body (integral for mental function), helps build short-term memory (too much of it, though, can impair learning), it weakens the immune system (if there’s a continued or increased circulation of it), it raises blood pressure (a controversial quality), it increases acid secretion in the stomach (that can give you the pangs in the morning) among its myriad of actions.
That all can be as good as being bad for you depending on different situations. It’s like if you have a deadline to meet, you find ways to do things, bring people in, have brilliant ideas and come up with a product minutes before it’s due. If you’re being given too many deadlines, you’re going to run short of ideas, short of the motivational drive and the desire to produce meaningful things. That’s pretty much how cortisol works. Going by plain logic then, waking up early after a good night’s sleep, will mean that the cortisol is high at the same time as you’re awake, thereby keeping the motivational drive intact. Even on Sundays when, otherwise, we like sleeping in. Because we spent Saturday night partying. Going by that same logic, sleeping before 12 means we’ll be down right about the time that the stress hormones are minimal. But, of course, cortisol is not the only thing that needs to be considered; Allah’s Creations are always much more complex and fascinating.
Allah’s Words are too simple to be true. We make it so hard upon ourselves. We get lost in the flurry of things around us. In the things OTHER people are doing.
RE-PRIORITIZE is what I need to do, something I realize but don’t implement. DE-PRIORITIZE parties and TV and people’s inappropriately timed plans. If I truly have the will, I will find a way to stay awake and be productive in the afternoons and wake up in time to welcome a healthy dose of cortisol. I’ve trivialized this verse for far too long and I hope I can find ways to change that.