Sleeping and Over Sleeping
Shaykh Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Safaareeni (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
It is not right to resist sleep a great deal and stay up late often. Resisting and avoiding sleep will lead to other problems such as bad moods, muddled thinking, and exhaustion that prevents one from understanding and working properly, and it can lead to many fatal illnesses.
Creation is based on balance and whoever adheres to moderation has achieved all goodness. In al-Adaab al-Kubra, one of the wise men said: Drowsiness takes away reason, but sleep increases it.
Sleep is one of the blessings that Allaah bestows upon His slaves, hence He reminds them of it in His Book.
[Source: Ghadha’ al-Albaab fi Sharh Manzoomat al-Adaab (2/359)]
It should be noted that sleeping more than the body needs will make one lazy in worship and will make one slow in thinking. Hence there are some sayings of the salaf which criticize sleeping too much.
Al-Fudayl ibn ‘Iyaad (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: There are two qualities that harden the heart: sleeping too much and eating too much.
Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
As for the five things that corrupt the heart, they are those that are referred to: mixing too much with people, wishful thinking, being attached to anything other than Allaah, eating one’s fill, and sleeping. These five are the greatest corrupters of the heart.
[Source: Madaarij al-Saalikeen (1/453)]
Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) explained that which has to do with sleep and said:
“The fifth corrupter is: sleeping too much, for it deadens the heart, makes the body heavy, wastes time, and generates a great deal of carelessness and laziness. Some of it is very makrooh and some is harmful and brings no benefit to the body.
The most beneficial of sleep is that which comes when the need for it is greatest. Sleeping at the beginning of the night is better than at the end, and sleeping in the middle of the day is better than sleeping at the beginning or end of the day.
The closer sleep is to either the beginning or end of the day, the less beneficial it is and the more harmful, especially sleeping at ‘Asr time, and sleeping at the beginning of the day, except in the case of one who has stayed up late.
Among makrooh kinds of sleep in their view is sleeping between Fajr prayer and sunrise, because that is a precious time. This time is of great benefit for those who are devoted to Allaah; even if they had been worshipping all night, they would not allow themselves to stop at that time until the sun has risen, because it is the beginning of the day, when provision comes down and is divided, and blessings are bestowed. That is the beginning of the day and the whole day depends on what happens during that time, no one should sleep at that time unless he is compelled to.
To sum up: the best and most beneficial of sleep is sleep during the first half of the night, and the last sixth, which is equivalent to eight hours. This is the best sleep according to doctors. Anything more or less than that will have a proportionately detrimental effect on the body, in their view.
Another kind of sleep that is of no benefit is sleeping straight after sunset, until the twilight has disappeared. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) disliked that, therefore it is makrooh according to sharee’ah and is naturally disliked. Just as sleeping too much leads to these problems, resisting and avoiding sleep will lead to other problems such as bad moods, muddled thinking, and exhaustion that prevents one from understanding and working properly, and it can lead to many fatal illnesses, whereby a person will not be able to think properly and will feel physically weak. Creation is based on balance and whoever adheres to moderation has achieved all goodness.
And Allaah is the One Whose help we seek.
[Source: Madaarij al-Saalikeen (1/459, 460)]