Wednesday, February 09, 2011

TOPIC OF THE DAY: Getting Enough Sleep?

There are a lot of Americans who are not getting enough sleep. I'm one of them. As long as I can remember, I've been a night owl. As a child, I'd lie awake at night with the house silent and dark, longing for sleep and knowing 6:30 AM would arrive too soon.

I read a news article today which stated that sleep deprivation is a global problem, and that those who are not getting enough zzz's are at a higher risk for heart disease and stroke. That makes me sit up and take notice.

I ask, "Why?" Why aren't we sleeping? There are people like me who have inner clocks that don't match the rest of the world but for many the root cause is something else. It may have something to do with lack of rest. We are a driven society. Too many of us refuse to take a break from work or from fulfilling an obligation we couldn't say no to.

Rest is not the same as sleep. It's a quieting of the soul, spirit and the heart. A place where we find serenity. The Bible says that even God rested and in Mark 6 Christ says to the apostles, "Let's go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest a while." There are many mentions of rest in God's Word. It must be important.

There is a list of sleep remedies--exercise, healthy eating, pharmaceuticals, white noise, restful music, evening routines. . .the list goes on. There's nothing cynical about finding help for sleeplessness. I've used most of the "cures" listed. But I'd rather make a life change. How about you?

Do you have difficulty giving yourself permission to rest? I do. Society has convinced us that resting is the same as laziness. That's a lie--don't believe it. I'm not against hard work, in fact I do a lot of that. And allowing myself to rest doesn't come naturally. I'm doing my best to learn that it means taking good care of myself and that's okay. Becoming restful doesn't look the same for all of us. We need to find our own path toward restoration.

Stress is a huge deterrent. It steals serenity. It's a powerful thief that sneaks up on us disguised as important obligations, work that can't wait, desire for possessions or status. The list is long and varied.

So, how do we destress? Smile. Laugh. Learn to say, "No." Make time for fun. Get outdoors. Spend time with friends and family. Watch a movie or attend a concert. Read a book. And we need to get our noses out of our computers . . . at least more often. And don't forget to spend time with God. He created us for His pleasure. Enjoy His creation. One of my favorite things to do is to launch a boat in a high mountain lake and float lazily on the shimmering waters on a warm summer day with a fishing line in the water. It doesn't matter if I catch a fish.

Taking good care of ourselves is the best thing we can do for others. When we're healthy and happy we become a balm to the people around us.

I've shared some of my favorite ways to rest, what are some of yours? How do you rebuiild your energy and joy?

Grace and peace to you,



  1. Anonymous1:04 PM

    My best rest in the Lord, or otherwise--is my alone time--but having a retired husband at home + 95 yr old mil doesn't allow space for much of that--but I try--I'll always keep trying to get it--one way or another! I've always been a nite owl--just so I could be alone, and that started VERY early with me, too=with 5 of us kids + a g'ma 'n folks in the house. God provides what I need--and He's always enough, even when it's only 5 hrs--He's enough! Whooo hooo==and ohh, how I love a catnap in my chair, ahhhh...

  2. Patti, I love catnaps too. Thanks for making me smile.

    Blessings to you.

  3. I also take catnaps during the day! I am a Night Owl! I rest by just daydreaming and looking at god's beautiful creations. So Peaceful!
    Bonnie, you are in my prayers!
    God Bless You!

  4. Rebecca, catnaps are so nice. And thanks for your prayers -- I need them.

    May the Lord bless you.

  5. Hello my dear one...I haven't forgotten you..never.
    Had a few heart problems and get on here to Blog, but don't get around everyone else as I should.
    Anyhow you know one thing that can vitally help is Magnesium. Many people are depleated of it without knowledge. Take 2 tabs 20mins before retiring.
    Can be bought in Walmart and is cheap. It also helps with depression, circulation, restless legs and many other things..
    Research it on the net... Years ago many took it for constipation as a spoonful in water...yes its the old epson salts)...
    Magnesium the miracle mineral.

  6. Crystal, how good to hear from you! What great suggestions. I do take magnesium twice a day and I notice it helps when I take it regularly. Thanks for the helpful hints.

    I'm sorry to hear about your heart. I hope it's something that can be resolved well.

    I'll pray for you.

    All my love.