Answered by Shaykh Abdul-Karim Yahya, SunniPath Academy Teacher
– I am 22 and have a problem in recent years of too much sleep. I have been to several doctors and all I am told is that some people need more sleep than others. Being a medical student myself, I know that there is not much known about sleep. If I sleep less than 12 hours I feel sick and tired as if I have only slept 3-4 hours and I can not function or study properly. This is becoming very problematic and I can not go on like this, I am already behind in my studies because of this problem. Maybe the doctors can not help, but is there any advice/guidance within Islam from scholars? I know many sleep only 2-3 hours, I would be happy if I could feel well after 7-8! I have tried all the usual things of relaxing and all the usual medical advice but like I said there is not much known with regards to sleep. I have prayed much, but to no avail. Is there a specific supplication for sleeping less?
In The Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate
May Allah give you and us soundness and ease. First of all, remember that this and all trials are in reality from Allah (Most High) and He has always given us good. So no matter how hard some things that we face may be, we should remember that ultimately there is good for us in them. Perhaps Allah sent you this because He loves to hear you supplicate Him.
There is not a specific prayer to decrease sleep that I memorize from my teachers, but some general advice is:
1) Keep asking Allah to decrease your sleep, especially with the prophetic supplications for need.
2) Apply the prophetic etiquettes of sleep, such as making ablution, reciting invocations, and sleeping on your right side (preferably on a firm surface, our Prophet, Allah bless and grant him peace, slept on a mat on the floor).
3) Try to gradually decrease your sleep, subtracting 15 minutes or one half hour, for example, each month. This is the advice I have always seen my Shaykh give to those who asked your question.
4) Gradually decrease the amount you eat. Some of the Shaykhs used to stand over the table every evening and say: “O group of disciples, do not eat much, such that you drink much, then sleep much and have much regret at the time of death.”
5) Avoid sins. Especially eating the unlawful or from ill gotten wealth. They weigh us down. Indeed a servant eats a meal or does an action and by virtue of this is prevented from worshipping at night for a year. Sufyan al-Thawry said: “I was prevented from night prayers for five months by a sin I committed.”
And Allah knows best and He alone gives success (tawfiq).
 Numbers four and five were summarized from: Abu Hamid Muhammad Bin Muhammad al-Ghazali, Ihya’ ‘Ulum al-Din (Beruit, Dar Ihya’ al-Turath al-‘Arabi), 1:356.