God on…sleep?

In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat — for he grants sleep to those he loves (Psalm 127:2).

How we work with sleep actually can help you know what you believe about God. Sleep is a commodity that, depending upon our stage of life, can be very hard to come by. In a culture where hyper-efficiency or sleep-deprivation occurs, is it any wonder that lack of sleep might mark unhealthy spiritual signs in our life?

If we believe God gives us what we need, we will not be lazy but nor will we over strive. We won't oversleep (Prov. 20:13) nor deprive ourselves of it. For example, when God is our first love, we will not pursue money, houses, etc. so much that we will lose sleep.

A heart with God first will develop a natural balance that is ultimately healthy and creates human flourishing.

Part of God's giving sleep is because it significantly affects us biologically. We may not think as well, become angry easily, be inefficient with our time, or any one of a number of symptoms can result when we lack sleep.

This is part of God's call to us to rest, to have a Sabbath.  So one way to realize we may need to re-engage what we are thinking about God (or how we follow Him) is by how we treat sleep.

But how much sleep do we need?

When researchers put test subjects in environments without clocks or windows and ask them to sleep any time they feel tired, 95 percent sleep between seven and eight hours out of every 24. Another 2.5 percent sleep more than eight hours. That means just 2.5 percent of us require less than 7 hours of night a sleep to feel fully rested. That's 1 out of every 40 people.
And, to be more creative...you need to sleep. Not so amazingly, God knows what's best even as science begins to identify it. Richard Beaty, a professor of psychology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and coauthor of the paper "Tired Minds, Tired Ideas?', is quoted as saying:
"We wanted to test the theory that people who are creative are tortured by their constantly churning thoughts--and whether staying up all night, struggling with insomnia is an indicator of the genius-madness stereotype."

"Our study suggests that if you’re awake all night, you might get more done. Maybe you’re redecorating your room," Beaty says. But you’re not producing high-quality creative work. "If you’re not well rested, you won’t have the ability to sit down and focus when you really want to function."

Beaty’s recommendation for artists and creative types? "Get more sleep."

[If you are having trouble sleeping, there can also be a number of biological reasons. God grants wisdom through medical professionals, so if you have sleeping difficulties, please seek professional help.]

Does anything in your sleep length mean you need to trust God more in His providing, change an unhealthy/ungodly habit to get sleep  (too much TV, etc.), or develop new discipline in your during-the-day work habits?

Find out more about sleep here.

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