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After the Holy Month of Ramadan, many people experience sleep difficulties as a result of struggling to readjust to an early sleep routine and continuing to stay up late. This common behaviour not only poses risks to one’s health but also brings about various detrimental physical, mental and social effects.

The secretion of the melatonin hormone is closely linked to sleep during the night as it increases its release in darkness and decreases when exposed to daylight. Therefore, staying up late and reducing the number of hours we sleep at night disrupt the release of melatonin hormone, which negatively affects the biological clock rhythm, body temperature, body fluid balance and the sense of hunger and fullness.

Dr Naela Darwish Saad, Manager of the Umm Salal Health Centre and Senior Family Consultant at PHCC, explains that insufficient sleep negatively affects one’s performance at work or school. This can lead to decreased productivity, ineffective performance, and a higher likelihood of making mistakes. Staying up late can exacerbate issues related to poor focus and memory, impairing the ability to make sound decisions and think clearly. Consequently, individuals may experience confusion, difficulty comprehending information, and learning difficulties. Furthermore, staying up late can result in loss of concentration, increasing the risk of errors and unintentional accidents.

Inadequate sleep after Ramadan can have mental and neurological repercussions, resulting in increased sleep-related issues like insomnia, fatigue, stress, memory lapses and depression. On the other hand, the negative physical consequences of staying up late include increased risk of chronic diseases such as obesity, irregular blood sugar levels, hypertension, cardiovascular conditions and strokes. It can also weaken the immune systems, elevating the risk of diseases and infections.

Dr Naela adds that staying up late may lead to various skin issues, including skin sagging, puffiness, red eyes, the appearance of dark circles below the eyes, lackluster complexion, and altered skin tone. Adequate sleep contributes to reducing cortisol hormone production, as elevated cortisol levels have negative effects on skin collagen and protein, leading to collagen breakdown, wrinkles, and premature ageing.

Insufficient sleep and continuous late nights can lead to social isolation and poor social connections. It widely known that these behaviors impact an individual’s personality and increase tension within family members and relations.

To prevent these effects, it is crucial to organise the time after Ramadan and uphold healthy routines. This includes establishing a consistent sleep schedule by going to bed at the same time each night and waking up at regular hours. It is essential to ensure an adequate amount of sleep, with a minimum of 6 hours per night, as the recommended sleep typically ranges from 7 to 9 hours. Additionally, ensuring an enhanced sleep environment by keeping the bedroom dark and at a suitable temperature, along with maintaining healthy diets, is important.

It is also recommended to schedule daily meals and have early dinner times, avoid consuming caffeine at least four hours before bedtime, and refrain from engaging in stimulating activities like using smartphones or watching TV before going to sleep. Additionally, it is crucial to reduce nap durations and maintain a regular exercise routine.

In summary, it is important for individuals to be aware of the negative consequences of staying awake late after Ramadan and understand the significance of managing their time effectively to maintain their overall wellbeing and ongoing family and work relations.The habit impairs

concentration, memory and the ability to make sound decisions

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