Sleep Deprived Bodies
It’s useless to rise early and go to bed late, and work your worried fingers to the bone. Don’t you know he enjoys giving rest to those he loves? (Psalm 127:2 MSG).
It’s not just moms who struggle with 60 + hour week loads. Writers, ministry leaders, business professionals, retail workers, yes, even some seniors juggle packed schedules. Most of us have been there at one time or another. “Hurry up!” flies out of our mouths more times than we care to admit.
Technical advances intended to decrease our work load and increase our efficiency only offer more gadgets to consume our time and energy. All our efforts to slow down seem hopeless at times.
Does God Offer Help?
How do you ease the pattern of too much pursuing and too much doing? How do you remedy the pattern of too little resting and too little nesting? Even at night our sleep deprived bodies may fight the tendency to “work,” as we count undone tasks rather than sheep. Does God offer any help?
I believe God offers another way. He invites us to wrestle less and trust Him more. He, who designed time, gives us all the same number of hours. And He does promise sweet sleep and rest to those He loves who will receive it. When you go to bed tonight, try nestling in His love. Leave your work outside your room, and close the door.
Five Things to Help You Sleep Sweeter
If your inability to sleep or rest is physically/medically related, by all means check with your doctor. But for those who identify with over-stress, here are some simple suggestions that might help:
1. Take frequent breaks throughout the day. Give your body–and mind–a chance to relax. Whether you walk, stretch, or indulge in a 10-minute “power” nap, give yourself a break.
2. Ask God to give you wisdom on how to prioritize your day. And while you’re at it, make Him your number one priority. Matthew 6:33 says when we seek Him first, “all these things will be given to you as well” (clothes, food, work, etc.). I like to think that means we can trust God to provide all our needs. Has He ever failed to meet yours?
3. Shut down early. A warm bath, reading a good book, meditating on Scripture–add these to your evening ritual, and subtract computer or mind-robbing activities late at night.
4. Mentally give God your worries, cares, and yes, even your unfinished projects for the night. If necessary, try climbing an imaginary ladder and hand them off to God for the night. Or place them outside your closed door and ask God to stand guard over them (The sooner you can cast your cares permanently on the Lord, the sweeter that sleep might be).
5. Try praising God as you go to sleep. I love to go through the alphabet thinking of names or character traits of God. Or read a Psalm before you turn off the light. Allow God’s Word to calm your Spirit.
Remember not to take on more than God assigns. He cares more about your character rather than your completed checklists.
Ah, worry-free sleep. Sweet dreams!