The first week of Ramadan is often the hardest, posing the greatest challenge (both mental and physical) of integrating Ramadan into our lives. While it would be easy to claim that we simply “turn on Ramadan” like a light switch, in reality like anything else there is an initial period of borderline chaos while we adapt. The decreased energy during the day from fasting hits us hardest this first week, though after a few days we are mostly acclimated. More challenging is making the right adjustments to our routines – especially sleep, which in our modern hectic lifestyles is often the first thing we sacrifice. But the importance of getting enough sleep in Ramadan is paramount, both in terms of going to bed early to help offset the earlier waking time, and also trying to find time for an afternoon nap or downtime to recharge for the evening. In fact sleep tends to be my greatest challenge, far more than food, in Ramadan – especially since I am forced to go without my habitual caffeine addiction. Most of the year, we don’t get enough sleep as it is, and use Starbucks as a crutch to get by; during Ramadan we are required to walk further and throw the crutch away. And yet, we succeed. The real question is, why can’t we maintain that beyond Ramadan? There’s really no excuse for perpetuating the good sleep habits, and reduced caffeine intake, beyond the holy month.
Starbucks isn’t helping. The Pumpkin Spice latte comes out on September 1st.