A distinctive prayer performed after sunrise marks the start of `Eid for Muslims around the world. What follows are days of `Eid fun, family, feasting, and holidaying is celebrated.
Yet, launching a holiday by waking up early is definitely paradoxical to our modern minds! Every day as the alarm clock rings we wish we could get up as late as possible, before hurriedly going about our morning frenzy.
Happily, people welcome holidays with open arms; yet, providing an opportunity to laze about in bed till noon, and sometimes even later, basking in our idleness.
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In fact, Muslims do get up at dawn to perform Fajr prayer every day, holiday or not. Yet, sunnah encourages to stay up and start their days with the first rays of sunlight, most Muslims find that hard to accomplish in the present-day.
A lot of us, Muslim or not, wish we were more of morning people. We envy those who naturally wake early because they don’t have to go through that daily battle inside their head.
On the contrary, waking up early is not a God-given gift to a select few! It’s actually how Allah created our body, it’s a gift to humanity.
Health Benefits of Waking Up Early
In fact, starting our day early in the morning is actually good for our health. Our bodies have their own biological clocks, called our “Circadian Rhythm“.
In addition, our circadian rhythm is responsible for sleep and mood; through controlling many internal body processes that light can affect (Light Therapy).
Furthermore, Dr. Hosny Hamdan, professor of earth sciences, contends that catching the first rays of the sun lowers the activity of the pineal gland which produces the hormone melatonin, causing the body to be more alert and pulling us out of the unconscious nervous system into our conscious selves.
Gladly, this also increases cortisone levels necessary for releasing energy and managing stress (WebMD, 2008).
Moreover, when we wake up during sunlight, our body releases serotonin which is responsible for happiness (Light Therapy).
In fact, the body’s circadian rhythm should be typically reset by morning light every day, otherwise, it falls out of sync resulting in a circadian rhythm disorder.
According to Light Therapy’s research, “A circadian rhythm disorder means your body is producing hormones, chemicals, and neurotransmitters in the wrong amounts and/or at the wrong time of the day.” (Light Therapy).
The international agency for Research on Cancer cites that disrupting the circadian rhythm has been shown to cause a higher risk of cancer, especially with constant exposure to light at night.
Disruption may also cause illnesses such as depression (because of low serotonin), chronic fatigue and insomnia among others (Light Therapy).
According to Psychology Today, “Morning people also have more stable personalities and lower levels of aggression, supporting the idea that serotonin is involved in keeping both moods and circadian rhythms regular.”
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