The dumbest thing a Christian can say…
“I’ll sleep when I’m dead.”
If others say it, fine. But it is not an ideology that we as Christians should subscribe to, even in a joking manner. The most important reason being, we know we don’t sleep when we die! That’s the whole principle behind being a Believer…We live forever with Christ. (And there is no way I’m going to sleep on that party)!
To see how your sleep hygiene affects your health, answer these questions:
- Are you productive, healthy and happy on your current average hours of sleep?
- Do you have health issues such as being overweight?
- Are you at risk for any disease?
- Are you experiencing sleep problems?
- Do you depend on caffeine to get you through the day?
- Do you feel sleepy when driving?
- Does your brain feel sluggish at times?
Your responses to these questions help you put into perspective the affect sleep debt, or consistently lacking in quality sleep, is affecting your health. But what’s even more important is this, how are your sleep habits affecting your faith walk?
To see how your sleep hygiene affects your faith walk, try this activity:
Anything over zero compromises God’s work in your life.
So how do we change this?
Let’s start with, how much sleep do you need?
The experts generally agree that the average adult needs between 7 and 9 hours of sleep. According to God’s design:
- 7 is the number of completion and perfection
- 8 is the number of new beginnings
- 9 is the number of finality or the finished work
In order to be effectively used by God, you need to be somewhere between the perfected work, the new beginning, and the finished work.
- When Solomon was asleep, God gave him wisdom- the perfected work.
- When Adam was asleep, God created something in Him- new beginnings.
- When Joseph was asleep, God gave him visions of the future- the final work.
Can you imagine what would’ve become of Solomon if he only slept for 4 hours because he spent the night stressing about decisions he had to make as king? Or Joseph, what if he short-changed his sleep in order to watch his favorite show? Even yet Adam, if he had gone to bed too late, or woken up to early, none of us would even be here! All of these men had to be asleep for just the right amount of time in order to fully benefit from God’s encounter.
How do you make getting more sleep a reality for your life?
The first step is to making sleep a part of your actual schedule. If you’ll notice, most planners stop at 8pm or 9pm. They pick back up at 6am the next day. (Even the Planner knows you need to take a break every once in a while). Do yourself a favor and write in your specific hours of sleep, even if you have to squeeze it in at the bottom. Our drive to be productive has us up well past healthy times of the night, so we need to include it in our schedule to have the psychological satisfaction of checking it off the to-do list.
In scheduling your sleep, you should also make a bedtime routine. When you lay down at 11pm, that doesn’t mean you’ll actually fall asleep at 11pm, so you’d still be short on intended hours of sleep. However, having a sleep routine that begins at 10:15pm can get you more reasonably closer to your sleep goal. The National Sleep Foundation recommends in its top list of “Sleeping Tips & Tricks” that you routinely partake in a calming activity before bed, so your body can wind down and prepare to rest.
Avoid making superhero statements such as, “If I can just get 5 hours a day, I’m good.” Take your sleep math seriously, and give sleep the respect it deserves. This idea of living off of “less than enough” is the opposite of our abundant living as Christians. Brushing off sleep in that way is also misleading and extremely erroneous. Misleading because we’ve accumulated so much sleep debt, that we have a skewed perspective of what “good” really is. Erroneous because, as we saw with Adam, Solomon, and Joseph, the set time for our bodies to rejuvenate is deeply rooted in the spiritual premise upon which we were created.
When it comes to how you treat this temple, God deserves more from you. Take steps in better caring for the temple by making quality sleep a priority in your life. After all, while you sleep at night, God is busy working on your new mercies, reloading your daily benefits, and perfecting the joy you shall experience in the morning. All He asks is that you close your eyes and let Him get to work.
Now that you know, share with someone you love. If you were blessed, email or post this on the wall of 3 people you care about.
~Love you much,
Dr. Asha 🙂