Follow Muhammad’s (s) Sunnah: Take a Power Nap to Increase Alertness and Productivity

Posted on May 1, 2011


Rafik Beekun,

Taking a nap in the afternoon was the practice recommended by the companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him). It appears that the Prophet agreed with this, because scholars of Hadith have been in support of an afternoon nap.

In fact, taking an afternoon nap carries a religious dimension. As Adil Salahi has indicated, sometimes a few men from the Quraysh would sit by Abdullah ibn Masoud’s door. When the sun has turned and the shadow began to take its shape, he would tell them to leave, saying: “What is left is for Satan.” To explain, Ibn Abbas would tell those people to leave after the midday prayer has been offered, so that they could have some rest at home. He did not encourage them to stay and chat, because they might indulge in frivolous talk, which would please Satan..

This sunnah of the Prophet (s)–when applied at work–has recently received support both medically and among U.S. businesses.

(CNN): […] “In most workplaces, especially workplaces involving safety, you want your workers to be maximally alert, and napping is actually a good strategy to maintain alertness,” says Dr. Thomas Balkin of the National Sleep Foundation. “So during slow periods, scheduled naps, if you’re napping in a safe place, being offline, that’s the best strategy to maintain alertness,” he says.

Recent news of air traffic controllers falling asleep on the job has put the issue in the spotlight.  New Federal Aviation Administration and U.S. Department of Transportation rules require controllers to have at least nine hours off between shifts to combat fatigue at work.  Transportation secretary Ray LaHood says he doesn’t support the idea of nap periods for controllers while on the clock, something the National Transportation Safety Board suggested recently.

Sleep researchers suggest, “If you’re really serious about giving your workers eight hours of sleep which is about ideal for an adult, then you should give them 12 hours off between shifts. That’ll give them enough time to commute, eat, bathe, socialize, watch TV, read the paper, do things they want to do.  If you don’t give them enough time to do those things and sleep, it’s going to cut into their sleep time,” Balkin say. [Please click here to read the whole article.]

Posted in: Islam