‘Suhoor’ (breakfasting before dawn) is part of fasting. Although it is actually a ‘sunnah’ (not mandatory), it is best that Muslims who are fasting do not miss this early breakfast – even though there may be times when you’d prefer to sleep a little more! Why? Let’s look at the process:
1. When we sleep, the hormones in our system move to the anabolic phase – this means the conversion of energy to repair and grow. At this stage your adrenaline and corticosteroids drop significantly, and your body produces melatonin (control your sleep cycle), fertility hormones, and Human Growth Hormone (HGH) in larger amounts.
2. Islam divides night-time into three (3) sections, which are:
- The first one third of the night (from 19:00 to 22:00).
- The second one third of the night (from 22:00 to 01:00).
- The last third one third of the night (from 01:00 to dawn).
3. The previously-mentioned hormones will decrease their production during the last third of the night – except for cortisol. Also known as the stress hormone, cortisol production actually increases at this time, getting you ready to wake up.
So, by the time you wake up, your body is ready to deal with a new day, and that means it’s ready for breakfast. In short, here are the health benefits of ‘suhoor’:
- It improves your immune system.
- It prevents metabolic syndrome diseases, such as diabetes.
- It helps with your diet.
Happy fasting. May you fast well and stay healthy!