Wednesday 8 June 2016

Ramadan Journal 2016: Day 3 - Today

The first few days of Ramadan are always challenging when fasting falls during the summer months with the change in sleeping and eating habits. Usually by the third day or so, you start to fall into a routine, the coffee cravings have gone and you get on with your day-to-day activity. Having got through day three, I don’t think I am finding it any easier. I pretty much always have a headache, my eyes feel like they are full of grit all day and waking up in the morning for work feels like torture.

I realised today, I spent a lot of time moaning to people. I dislike moaners and I hate moaning, but I let myself wallow today, even knowing how boring I must sound. On reflection, I know this is wrong, but at least I have it out of my system. I remind myself to be grateful for the opportunities this month brings: forgiveness, blessings and reward from Allah (SWT) for every moment of hardship. Who ever said anything good came easy?

One of the Facebook groups I am a member of (for recipes) had a post where a number of sisters were describing a similar situation with headaches. Some of the sisters shared that a sensible suhoor (dawn meal) and drinking plenty of water on opening the fast seemed to help.

Our iftar today: fruit salad, strawberries, dates, shakanjawi (lime juice), chicken paties, pasta bake and chicken and fish sent by my awesome neighbours

So I am going to make an effort to be patient and to try and manage my food, water, sleep and quiet time more consciously and see if I can manage out the headaches (although my last attempt at quiet time with coffee and a chocolate bar included yelling at the older kids to pray, breaking up a fight between the boys and marching Darling back to bed).

I also want to be positive about this amazing month, I keep reminding myself:

“Indeed ahead of you is the blessed month of Allah. A month of blessing, mercy and forgiveness. A month which with Allah is the best of months. Its days, the best of days, its nights, the best of nights, and its hours, the best of hours. It is the month which invites you to be the guests of Allah and invites you to be one of those near to Him. Each breath you take glorifies him; your sleep is worship, your deeds are accepted and your supplications are answered.

Fasting, eating high-sugar foods, dieting too rigorously, and skipping meals can all trigger, or make people more likely to have a headache or migraine. Even delayed or irregular meals can make a difference. This is usually due to people’s blood-glucose levels falling too low.

Headaches produced from going without food are often quite severe and accompanied by mild nausea. There is also a similarity between some of the symptoms of missing a meal and the early warning signs (premonitory) of a migraine attack, such as: yawning, pallor, sweating, headache, a craving for sweet things, and mood changes.

Headaches during a fast could be due to dehydration or hunger, poor rest, or the absence of addictive substances, such as caffeine or nicotine.

A moderate and balanced diet, especially not missing the pre-dawn meal, taking in enough fluids and, if necessary, some painkillers such as paracetamol, can help prevent or reduce the risk of getting a headache.

Dr Shevel highlights caffeine withdrawal as the most common cause of headache while fasting. Patients can often prevent headaches by reducing caffeine consumption in the weeks leading up to Ramadan month, while a cup of strong coffee just before the start of the fast for the day may prevent caffeine withdrawal headache.

Hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) can also trigger headaches in many people. If a meal with high sugar content is taken before the day’s fast begins, it can cause a rapid rise in blood sugar levels followed by a fast drop that may trigger a headache. Eating a meal with low sugar content before the fast may prevent the onset of a headache during the day.


  1. Anonymous09 June, 2016

    Assalam Alaykoum Sister,
    Ramadan Kareem.
    May Allah make it easier for you, take your headache away to feel fit & healthy soon Inshallah.
    Are you napping after work as you planned? I think there might be sleeploss in your case of headache.
    Alhamdulillah I am feeling so well this Ramadan, was bit unwell just before it started for 2 days so I did not have appetite and I found it helped me with not being hungry on first days Subhanallah.

  2. Anonymous09 June, 2016

    I forgot to ask you about that pasta bake - maybe I ll make that in the weekend if you could tell me the recipe - must be yummy.

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  4. Anonymous09 June, 2016

    May Allah make fasting easier for you! Today I had oily fish on toast for suhoor for the first time ever and alhamdulillah it has given me a real boost.

  5. Thank you for information about headache.. May Allah swt bless you always! Ameen