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Monday 19 February 2024

How to Sleep According to the Sunnah

After a long day at work, school or at a conference meeting, our body gets exhausted and needs time to rest in order to restore energy.

Sleeping plays an important role in helping an individual to stay healthy and maintain psychologically balance.

Sleep is undoubtedly a blessing from Allah (swt) as He stated in the Quran about the importance of sleep.

“And among His signs is the sleep that you take by night and by day, and your seeking of His bounty. Verily, in that are indeed signs for people who listen”. – (Suratul Ar-room vs 23)

Deprivation of sleep may cause body distress that could lead to the following illness:

  • Psychological problems
  • Emotional distress; Anxiety and depression
  • Hypertension
  • Insomnia.
  • Sluggishness and other kinds of health-related issues.

Implementing the sleeping culture of the Prophet (peace be upon him) will require an optimal sleeping schedule – and adhering to it no matter what.

Below are the few things Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) does before going to bed:

  • Dua before going to bed
  • Dust off the bed
  • Perform ablution
  • Read Surah Ikhlas, Falaq, Nas (three times)
  • Switch off the light
  • Sleep on the right hand (facing right side)
  • Supplicate upon waking up

1. Dua Before Going To Bed

Supplicating before going to bed is very imperative, according to a popular saying that “sleep is assumed to be a temporary death that could lead to permanent death.”

When the prophet went to bed, he should say: "Bismika amutu wa ahya."
This means “In Your Name, O Allah, I die and I live.

Uttering the above statement means you have placed Allah (swt) as the owner of your life, that you belong to Him and to Him is your final return.

2. Dusting Off Bed Before Sleeping

The bed provides comfort for the body to rest and sleep well. Cleaning and dusting one’s bed would aid good night sleep, and limit amount of small harmful particles that could interrupt one’s sleep.

The Prophet said, "When anyone of you go to bed, he should shake out his bed with the inside of his waist sheet, for he does not know what has come on to it after him, and then he should say: 'Bis-mika Rabbi wada'tu Janbi wa bika arfa'uhu, In amsakta nafsi farhamha wa in arsaltaha fahfazha bima tahfazu bihi ibadakas-salihin." - Narrated Abu Huraira

The above dua means: “With Your Name my Lord, I lay myself down and with Your Name I rise. And if my soul You take, have mercy on it, and if You send it back then protect it as You protect Your righteous slaves.”

3. Perform Ablution

An ablution is an obligatory act before every salah.

Being in the state of ablution before going to bed is an act the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) performs every night before sleeping. Even though, some may prefer to shower to wash away dirt and stains on the surface of the body.

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “when you want to go to bed, perform ablution as you do for prayer”.

Either showering or ablution helps the body to stay cool and refresh, but following the Sunnah of performing ablution will purify your body spiritually, and also earn you reward rather than just washing the whole body.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, washing your face before bed helps reduce breakouts, improves your moisturizer's efficacy, helps prevents wrinkles and lessens your chance of eye infections.

4. Recite The Last Three Surah Of The Qur'an

It is sunnah of the prophet to recite the last three chapters of the Quran (Surat-al-Ikhlas, Surat-al-Falaq, and Suratan-Nas) three times before sleeping – blowing on his palms after reciting them and rub his palms all over his face and body.

Narrated 'Aisha: Whenever Allah's Apostle went to bed, he used to recite Surat-al-Ikhlas, Surat-al-Falaq and Suratan-Nas and then blow on his palms and pass them over his face and those parts of his body that his hands could reach. And when he fell ill, he used to order me to do like that for him. (Volume 7, Book 71, Number 644).

5. Switch Off The Light

Allah’s Apostle (peace be upon him) is reported to encourage Muslims to put off lamps, shut the doors and cover food and drink containers.

Narrated Jabir: Allah's Apostle said, "Extinguish the lamps when you go to bed; close your doors; tie the mouths of your water skins, and cover the food and drinks." (Volume 7, Book 69, Number 528)

Sleeping with light off may be difficult for some people, whether they have a health issue or personal phobia which may tamper with their sleep – then, it is not necessary for them to switch off the light.

Sleep researchers have found that maintaining darkness during sleep would boost the rhythm of one’s sleep, and also send a signal to the body that it is time to rest.

6. Sleep On The Right Side

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) has recommended every Muslim to sleep on their right side, by placing their right cheek on right hand.

According to an authentic narration by Hudhayfah (may Allaah be pleased with him) said, “When the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) went to bed at night, he would put his hand under his cheek…” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 6314).

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “When you go to bed, do wudoo’ as if for prayer, then lie down on your right side…” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, al-Wudoo’, 239). 

Some people prefer to sleep on their stomach to stop snoring, health practitioners have described it as the worst position to sleep.  

7. Supplicate Upon Waking Up

When the Prophet (peace be upon him) woke up from sleep, he wil make dua (supplication) to glorify Allah for waking him up to see another day.

Then when he woke up he would say, ‘Al-hamdu Lillaah alladhi ahyaanaa ba’da ma amaatanaa wa ilayhi al-nushoor (Praise be to Allaah who has brought us back to life after causing us to die, and to Him is the resurrection).’” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 6314).


Having NIghtMare 

Dream or nightmare is an involuntary and uncontrollable imaginary event that occurs while sleeping. When you have a bad or frightening dream, it is Sunnah to do the following acts:

  • Spit to your left (three times)
  • Seek refuge in Allah from the devil and the evil of what you have seen
  • Perform salaah if you are able to.

Sleeping Before Night Prayer

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) urge Muslims not to sleep before the night prayer most especially the Isha prayer. He also encourages Muslims to avoid any activity after the night prayer.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “One should not sleep before the night prayer, nor have discussions after it”.


Sleeping according to Sunnah by following Muhammad (peace be upon him) guidelines will bring you great health benefits as well as reward in this world and the hereafter.

Allah says in the glorious Quran: “He who obeys the Messenger has indeed obeyed Allaah . . .” [al-Nisaa’ 4:80]

May Allah grant us good health. Ameen.

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