Sleep is a gift, and when we’re healthy, we experience just the amount we need to be refreshed and ready for a new day. How is your sleep?
ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES by Sally Bair
May is better sleep month
A good night’s sleep can be hard to achieve. The list of emotional factors that either interrupt or prevent good sleep seems endless. It might include responsibilities for the care of children or elderly parents, family conflicts, problems with other relationships, or financial concerns. Then we can add physical factors, such as pain, noise, room temperature or humidity, the level of light, and the condition of our bedding. By far, the most likely sleep-inhibitor is anxiety.
The Better Sleep Council (BSC) helped establish May as Better Sleep Month to bring awareness of the importance of good sleep. Inadequate sleep can result in high blood pressure, production of high stress hormones, reduced concentration, mood swings, and irritability. Any employer will state that poor sleep results in poor productivity. And too little sleep can result in heart attacks and stroke.
What can we do to achieve a good night’s sleep? Create an atmosphere of peace and calm with little or no noise, light, or distractions in the bedroom. Establish consistent sleep patterns, including a regular bedtime with a time of relaxing beforehand.
We need to use wisdom to plan ahead for a good night’s sleep, whenever possible. So I avoid caffeine after 3 PM. And when I attend a high-powered, late meeting or event, my mind won’t shut down until past midnight unless I plan a quiet time before bed.
The importance of wisdom applies to our spiritual lives as well. Wisdom will keep us from evil, help us succeed in life, and provide good sleep. “Keep sound wisdom and discretion … when you lie down, you will not be afraid … your sleep will be sweet.” (Proverbs 3:22-24)
King David, fleeing for his life, used the wisdom of prayer to good effect. “I cried to the Lord with my voice, and He heard me … I lay down and slept … I will not be afraid …” (Psalm 3:4-6 in part)
Peter also knew the value of being in a close relationship to the Lord. Seized by king Herod, Peter was thrown into prison to face execution for being a Christian. Other followers of Christ prayed constantly for Peter’s freedom. He was bound with chains between two soldiers, with other guards near the door. Through all his misery and hopelessness, Peter slept—unbelievably so, except for a deep faith in God’s ability to deliver him. And God did!
Lord, thank You for the peace and joy and good sleep that comes from knowing You personally. Give us wisdom in every situation and the faith to use it. In Jesus’ name, amen.