Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sleep is a gift

As the weekend comes winding to a close I am reminded of how quickly time flies by.  It seems like only hours ago I picked the kids up from school and we began our weekend.  I know how tired I feel a majority of the time and I interact with numerous other women who all feel the same way.  Of course, part of my problem is that I like to stay up late and then sleep in when it's time to get up.  I have this "need" to play on the computer or watch TV late at night.  The problem with this is that I am seeing my oldest son wanting to do the same things, especially on the weekends.  I keep a strict rule during the weekdays of no television or ipod at bedtime.  Books are okay to read and relax for sleep but, no electronics.  I know, I know, take my own advice.  Well, I am trying and I am a work in progress.

I kept the nursery last Sunday at our church and up on the wall there was a poster of 2 sleeping kittens with Psalm 3:5 on it.  "I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord sustained me."  It hit me as to how true this verse is and how it applies to our lives.  David was facing some very stressful times as we read through the Psalms and God gave him the gift of rest even during times of trouble.  I take for granted how important sleep is and the need to supply my body with the nourishing effects of sleep.

When we fail to get enough rest our whole body is affected.  Our brains need rest in order to keep us firing on all neurons.  Our memory suffers, our attention span shortens, and our ability to "tolerate" certain things can become nearly non-existent.  Our muscles need the growth hormone produce by our body during sleep in order to maintain muscle strength.  Our ability to fight infection lessens and we become sick more easily.  Our blood sugar is in constant turmoil and chronic insomnia can lead to depression and panic disorders.

So what now?  Well, here are 5 things to try and see if it makes a difference in your sleep routine.
1) No electronics within an hour of bedtime.  Leave your cell phone far away from you and put it on silent so that you are not disturbed during the night by the email or text message notifications.
2) Relax!  Spend some time lying in bed with your hand over your chest as you breathe deeply.  Allow your body to make the connection and let go of all the stresses of the day.
3) Keep your room dark or wear a sleeping mask.  Doing so can deepen your sleep so that you wake more rested.  If you must have some light then put an orange light bulb in your lamp.  The softened glow helps your body prepare for sleep.
4) Keep a sleep log.  Just note what time you go to bed, the time you wake up, and how you felt during the day.  This can help you determine how much sleep your body requires.
5) Pray or meditate.  Release all the worries of the day and allow your mind to drift into restful, peaceful sleep.
Blessings to all,

1 comment:

  1. Great blog! My mom use to tell me that sleeping was a gift and God gave this to us. I believe her now. lol