Can one say Krias Shema al hamita early in the evening after Maariv if one is concerned that he will fall asleep before being able to say it.

Answer:

Krias Shema al Hamita was enacted to say “upon one’s bed” (based on the verse in Tehillim 4:5), and it should therefore only be said close to going to sleep. If one is concerned he may fall asleep, he should say it before entering bed and laying down.

Sources: See Shulchan Aruch, 239:1 and Mishnah Berurah. A further reason why it should be recited at bedtime is the ruling of poskim whereby one must be wary of making a hefsek between Krias Shema al Hamita and sleeping — and certainly for making a hefsek after reciting the hamapil blessing.

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2 Responses to “Early Bedtime Shema?”

  1. But what if someone does, by accident, fall asleep without saying krias shema, but then wakes up a few hours later? Should he recite the whole shema then, did his sleep count for the whole night? Because it wasn’t planned when he fell asleep..

    • If somebody falls asleep by mistake before reciting the Shema, he can still recite it if he awakes in the middle of the night, and is still planning to sleep. If he wakes up for the morning, he cannot recite the berahcah of Ha-Mapil.

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