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Sleep: The Neglected Gift

As a pastor, I learned I needed to embrace God's gift of sleep.

Why Did God Give Us Sleep?

All good and perfect gifts come from God. Sleep is good and perfect. When we get the quality and quantity of sleep God ordained, we receive amazing benefits. Our muscles are repaired, growth and appetite hormones are released, memories consolidate, emotions regulate, and our immune systems are strengthened. Sleep helps our body perform the processes needed to self heal.

I hear from God clearer when I get a good night’s sleep. There have been countless times over the years when I woke up in the morning knowing the answer to the seemingly unsolvable problem I had the night before. When I am sleep derived, I receive nothing.

The Bible records God speaking through dreams to Joseph, the wise men, and Pilate’s wife, just to name a few. He is still speaking to mankind through dreams today, but we will have difficulty hearing him if we are sleep deprived.

Good Sleep Practices

I sought the Bible to get God’s thoughts on sleep. He does not want us to overwork, worry, and live sleep deprived (Psalm 127:2), nor does he want us to be sluggards (Proverbs 6:9–10). God wants us to be balanced.

Researching sleep aids, I discovered tranquil soundtracks, soothing meditations, acupuncture, sleeping pills, and CPAP machines. Sleep-tracking devices can be worn or can sit by your bedside. I also follow a sleep regimen I developed to establish a healthy sleep life.

  1. Go to bed earlier. My to-do list is never completed anyway.
  2. Turn the television off. Responding to the news delays sleep.
  3. Petition God for restorative sleep. I desire the quantity and quality that promotes healing.
  4. Stop drinking caffeine late at night. Caffeine keeps me awake.
  5. Journal before bedtime. My concerns are left on the page and not on my mind.
  6. Lower the room temperature. I set the thermostat at 66 degrees.
  7. Take naps without feeling guilty. I give myself permission to rest midday.

Although I have just recently started following this restorative sleep regimen, I feel better already. I am determined to turn in my membership card to the sleep deprived club and join the restored and refreshed group. I am not going to continue abusing and neglecting sleep. I’m convinced that it’s God’s gift to me.

Dorothy J. Haire, D.Min. is a retired founder and pastor of a non-denominational church outside St. Louis, and a retired speech-language pathologist. She is presently an assignment writer for Sparkman Christian Magazine and is writing a narrative on the Book of James.

August24, 2017 at 8:00 AM

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