WHAT ABOUT SLEEP AND REST? WHY ARE THEY SO IMPORTANT?
Psalm 4:8 ‘I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.”
Psalm 127:2 “In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat- for He grants sleep to those he loves.”
DECEMBER 29TH, 2012
Rest and sleep is more important than you may realize. We were not created to be on the go 24/7. Yet how often do you find yourself buying into modern day expectations to do it all and to have it all? You may find that trying to meet these unrealistic expectations is keeping you much busier than you could have ever imagined. What a trap!
Where do you possibly find time for relaxation or even rest and sleep? Keeping yourself occupied is great, but there has to be some limits. There should be some balance between times when you are being productive and times when you are resting. Your health really does depend on your ability to get enough rest and sleep. If you try to keep going without any breaks, you may start feeling overwhelmed, tired, and worn out.
Did you know that a lot of important processes take place in your body when you are sleeping?
While you rest and sleep your body cleanses, repairs, heals, replenishes and rejuvenates itself.
Your body gets revived, the tissues of your brain get restored, new information and memories are stored, and your nerves get recharged. While you sleep, your body goes back and forth between periods of light and deep sleep.
During the phase of light sleep which is known scientifically as REM (rapid-eye movement) sleep, your muscles relax completely and you dream. This is the time when your mind processes the things that happened in your life during the day. If you don't get enough sleep, you won't be able to fully process the day's events. Not surprisingly then, lack of sleep can cause you to have unresolved issues.
How Much Sleep Do I Need?
Over a hundred years ago, people got an average of 9 - 10 hours of sleep. Now the average adult gets a lot less sleep. Adults get an average of only 4 - 6 hours of sleep each night.
That means that a large number of us are actually sleep deprived!
How much sleep you need depends on your age and health status. Infants, children, and yes, even teenagers need more sleep than full grown adults because growth happens at night while they are sleeping. Getting enough sleep is important for adults as well. That is the time when your brain grows intellectually. If you don't get enough sleep, it will be so much harder for you to grow as a person.
Does It Matter What Time I Go To Sleep?
This may surprise you, but the best time to go to bed (even if you are a full grown adult) is between the hours of 8 PM and 10 PM. Yes, you read that right.
Between 8 and 10 PM is the best time to go to bed.
The hours before midnight are indeed very valuable. Simply put, getting into bed a few hours before midnight is great for your health because every hour of sleep that you get before midnight is worth 2 hours after midnight. If you realize that you've been skimping on sleep and are now thinking that you should sleep extra-long hours to catch up, I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news....
You cannot catch up on missed sleep. In fact, some research shows that getting too much sleep (e.g. more than 9 hours) may actually be harmful to your health. So, do try to stick to the recommended 7 or 8 hours each night.
If you are suffering from an illness, then forget about my last statement. As I mentioned before, anyone who is recovering from an illness needs all the rest and sleep they can get.
How Can Lack Of Sleep Affect Me?
If you are not getting enough sleep, your body will not be able to rebuild itself and recharge itself properly. Your body will begin to suffer.
Here are some symptoms that are common with lack of sleep:
- Memory loss
- Emotional instability
- Exhaustion, delusions, paranoia, and hallucinations over a prolonged period of sleep deprivation
- Decreased concentration and creativity and disruption in your ability to learn
- Decreased efficiency and productivity; everything seems to require more effort
- Impaired judgment (your priorities and values in life may even change)
- Loss of patience
- Negative changes in your analytical abilities, perception, motivation, and motor control
- Impaired immune system
- Increased feelings of depression, apathy, or irritability and aggression
- Slowed reaction time
From this list, you can see quite clearly that missing out on rest and sleep is not good for your health, happiness, or success!
Proverbs 3:24 “When you lie down, you will not be afraid; yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet”
The information given here is for educational purposes only. It is meant to be used as a guide towards health and does not replace the evaluation by and advice of a qualified licensed health care professional. For detailed interpretation of your health and specific conditions, consult with your physician.