A Gift From God: The Blessing of Sleep
I’m going to touch on a sore point for many of us. Sleep.
I’m not talking about the exceptions, like typical newborn sleep deprivation.
I’m focusing on the tendency we have to burn the candle at both ends.
And you know what’s even worse?
We’re proud of it.
In some twisted way, I admire people who don’t need that much sleep.
Why is that?
Is it because I envy them because they have a superpower I don’t?
Is it because I wish I could go nonstop and therefore experience more of life?
I’m not sure why, but somehow, I have believed that those who can function on little sleep are somehow superior.
Isn’t that silly?
We are human. Only God can boast that He neither slumbers or sleeps (Ps. 121:4).
In fact, sleep is a gift He gives to those He loves (Ps. 127:2).
So why do we fight something that can benefit us?
For myself, I think I can get more done, be more productive, if I stay up later.
But at what cost?
I have found that once I consistently as a habit start sleeping about 6 hours a night, my effectiveness drops.
Instead of being more productive, I am less so.
I retrace steps. I forget what I’m doing and have to start over. Important things fell through the cracks.
It takes discipline to stop work and go to sleep.
Sometimes I even convinced myself that I had “earned” it after a long day with the kids.
But because I went to bed late, I woke up late. I started the day behind.
One extra hour awake is not equivalent to a more productive and meaningful life.
In fact, it’s the opposite. Tom Rath writes, “When you lose an hour of sleep, it decreases your well-being, productivity, health, and ability to think.”
Yet why do we still keep making this sacrifice when it actually decreases our effectiveness?
For me, the change came when I took a step of faith to shut down my computer, turn off my phone, and go to bed instead of zoning out mindlessly in front of the TV.
It takes faith to believe that whatever comes up can wait. The world won’t stop if I don’t answer that last email.
It takes faith to believe that no matter how hard life is, it’s worth it to sacrifice my “me time” so I can spend time with Him in the morning.
For the Jewish people, the “day” started at night. The Sabbath, Passover, even the days of creation began with the evening and then the morning.
Intentional days begins not with an organized to-do list but good sleep.
Rested people can make a big difference in the world we live in.
What might the gift of sleep do for you?