What is Qailulah?
The word Qailulah, قيلولة, refers to a short nap or relaxation in the midday. It originated from the Arabic root “qayl” (قيل), which means “to say” or “to rest”.
It generally means taking some rest or a quick nap during the day. This practice is rooted in mediterranean and middle eastern cultures as well as the arabian peninsula.
There are numerous instances in Islamic tradition where taking a short nap during the daytime was encouraged, either directly or indirectly. It is noteworthy that Qailulah was a widespread practice among the companions of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Many of the most prominent companions, such as Abu Bakr, Umar ibn al-Khattab, Ali ibn Abi Talib, Uthman ibn Affan, Anas ibn Malik, and Abdullah ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with them), were known to practice midday naps.
Take a brief nap, for verily it refreshes the mind, sharpens the eyesight, and helps one to remain vigilant in worship.Al-Hakim Al-Mustadrak
Ibn Taymiyyah said it is permissible to take a nap at midday, as long as it is not excessive. Napping at midday is a Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad, and it has many benefits, such as increased alertness and productivity.
Ibn Qayyim said taking a nap at midday is a Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad, and it has many benefits, such as increased alertness and productivity. It is also a way to rest the body and the mind.
The above references demonstrate that qailulah is widely recommended and practiced among the prophet (pbuh) and his companions. This practice continued throughout Islamic history and is still observed in many Muslim-majority countries. Moreover, in some countries including Saudi Arabia and the UAE, this practice is somewhat institutionalized. Many businesses and government offices in these countries have designated nap times during the workday, recognizing the benefits of rest and rejuvenation for productivity and well-being. The practice of Qailulah is also gaining attention in Western cultures, where it is increasingly recognized as a beneficial way to boost productivity and reduce stress.
What does science say?
There are tons of studies and findings that suggest short naps during the day can improve cognitive function, alertness, and mood, while reducing fatigue and sleepiness. The optimal duration and timing of naps may vary depending on individual factors, but a general recommendation is to nap for 20-30 minutes to avoid entering deeper stages of sleep, which can lead to grogginess upon waking.
Improved productivity & alertness
Taking a short nap during the day can improve productivity and alertness. Studies have shown that even a short nap of 20-30 minutes can help to increase cognitive function, attention, and concentration while reducing fatigue and sleepiness.
When we sleep, our brain processes and consolidates information that we have acquired during the day. This helps to clear our minds and enhance our ability to learn, think, and perform cognitive tasks. By taking a nap during the day, individuals can provide their brains with an opportunity to process and consolidate new information, leading to improved cognitive performance.
Taking a short nap during the day can have a significant impact on improving mood and reducing stress levels. Research has found that even a 20-minute nap can help to decrease feelings of tension and fatigue while increasing feelings of relaxation and overall well-being.
During sleep, the brain produces and releases various neurotransmitters and hormones that play a critical role in regulating mood, including serotonin and dopamine. Taking a nap during the day can help to boost the production and release of these mood-regulating chemicals, leading to improved mood and emotional well-being.
In addition, Qailulah can help to reduce the accumulation of sleep debt, which is a common cause of mood disturbances and irritability. By taking a short nap during the day, individuals can refresh their minds and bodies, leading to improved mood, better emotional regulation, and overall better mental health.
Reduced stress and anxiety
Taking a short nap during the day can also help to reduce stress and anxiety levels. When we are stressed, our body produces and releases cortisol, which can lead to a range of negative physical and mental health effects, including increased heart rate, blood pressure, and inflammation. Studies have found that napping can help to lower levels of cortisol, leading to reduced feelings of stress and anxiety.
It can also help to promote relaxation and reduce muscle tension, leading to further reduction in stress levels. By allowing our body and mind to rest and refresh, we can gain a better perspective on our problems and challenges, leading to decreased feelings of anxiety and worry.
A short nap during the day has also been found to improve memory and learning. Studies have shown that napping can enhance the process of memory consolidation, which is the process of moving information from short-term memory to long-term memory. This helps to clear our minds and enhance our ability to learn, think, and remember. By taking a nap during the day, individuals can provide their brains with an opportunity to process and consolidate new information, leading to improved memory and learning.
In addition, napping can help to reduce interference and confusion that can occur when learning new information. When we are sleep deprived, our brains can become overwhelmed with information, leading to difficulties in learning and memory. By taking a nap during the day, individuals can refresh their minds and improve their ability to process and retain new information.
Overall, scientific evidence suggests that taking a short nap during the day can be an effective way to improve memory and learning. Incorporating Qailulah into daily routines can lead to enhanced memory consolidation, reduced interference and confusion, and improved overall cognitive function. This can lead to greater success in academic, professional, and personal endeavors.
Improved sleep quality at night
Taking a short nap during the day may have a positive impact on sleep quality at night. By taking a nap during the day, we can reduce the accumulation of sleep debt and lower our cortisol levels, leading to improved sleep quality at night.
Moreover, taking a nap during the day can help to reset our circadian rhythm, which is our body’s internal clock that regulates sleep and wake cycles. By promoting alertness during the day, a short nap can help to promote drowsiness and a more regular sleep schedule at night, leading to improved sleep quality.
As workplaces and societies become increasingly fast-paced and demanding, Qailulah offers a simple and effective way to recharge and enhance performance. By incorporating midday napping into your daily routine, you can improve productivity, creativity, and overall well-being. With a growing body of scientific evidence to support its benefits, Qailulah is poised to become an increasingly popular practice in the modern world.
In recent years, the practice of Qailulah has also gained attention in Western cultures, where it is increasingly recognized as a beneficial way to boost productivity and reduce stress. Some companies in the West have started to provide nap pods or quiet spaces for employees to take short naps during the workday. The growing interest in Qailulah and its benefits has helped to raise awareness about the importance of rest and self-care, not only in Islamic tradition but also in other cultures and societies.
Also, if you look around, you’ll discover this in the animal world where it is not only common but also an essential part of their daily routines.