Sleep

 

If you’re like most incredibly busy people, you’ve probably mastered managing a full-time schedule on just a few hours of sleep. Your morning routine, if captured on a painted canvas, would probably resemble the essence of New York City’s iconic Times Square. Without fail, you’re checking the latest news; responding to personal emails; managing family affairs; and enduring rush-hour traffic, among other activities, which have become the hallmark of your morning routine.

 

Operating On Autopilot

Throughout your workday, you’re generating sales and marketing reports, checking emails, and attending brainstorming and department meetings. On a good day, you’re having lunch at your desk, compliments of the communal snack tray. A 10-hour work day has come to an end, so you prepare to head home. After sitting anxiously in rush-hour traffic for two hours, you finally make it home. Once you enter your sweet abode, you soon realize that you’re too exhausted to cook dinner, so you order your favorite Thai dish from that new restaurant located a few blocks away. You devour dinner, leaving just enough for your spouse to enjoy. Then, you open your briefcase to discover two sales reports that need reviewing before 9 a.m. You endure the incessant head nodding and yawning to complete those reports. A few hours later, you’ve managed to retire for bed around 1 a.m.

 

Needless to say, you’ve been operating on autopilot, with as few as 4 hours of sleep each night. You’re exuding physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional fatigue. Tasks that used to take no time to complete now seem to consume the majority of your day. Every time that you attempt to attend church, your boss calls you to work on one of the largest client accounts. And, your marriage is suffering as a result of your lack of work/life balance. So, what do you do when your zeal for life has taken a back seat on behalf of your demanding schedule?

 

Jesus said to the crowds: “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.”

Matthew 11:28

Rest

It’s time for rest. According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than a third of American adults fail to get enough sleep, per the recommended healthy sleep duration of 7 or more hours per day. However, this disheartening statistic doesn’t have to be the status quo. With a positive mindset, everyone, including entrepreneurs, executives, students, and parents can reap the rewards that ample rest provides. Still think that you don’t have time in your day to rest? Below are three benefits you’ll enjoy when you realize the importance of sleep.

 

  1. Spiritual Clarity

When your routine consists of getting just a few hours of sleep, expect to be fatigued. You may have even grown accustomed to feeling agitated toward family, friends, and coworkers on a regular basis. If you prolong this routine – not getting enough sleep –  you may find it difficult to hear God’s voice and praise and worship Him. The regularly scheduled quiet time that was once reserved for God has now been relegated to an occasional prayer (or two) as your busy schedule permits.

 

“…The God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints…”

Ephesians 1:17-18

WomanPraying

 

Spiritual clarity and wellness requires rest. When the enemy sees that you’re fatigued, especially spiritually, he’ll prey on your inability to spend quality time with God. This is a steadfast tactic of the enemy, as he seeks to trample those whose souls are weary. However, beloved, you can thwart the enemy’s plans by getting ample rest each day. Subsequently, you’ll begin to crave spending time with God, soaking in His infallible Word. When you make time for God, He’ll orchestrate your day in a way that brings a renewed sense of peace and spiritual clarity to all that you aspire to do.

 

 

 

  1. Creativity & Productivity 

Did you know that sleep deficiency can alter activity in some parts of the brain? According to National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, when you’re sleep deprived, you may have difficulty making decisions, solving problems, and controlling your emotions and behavior. Daily tasks that you once enjoyed now seem to exhaust all of your energy, leaving you feeling less creative and productive at the end of the day.

 

Creativity

 Before you can increase your productivity, you’ll first need to understand the importance of rest. So, let’s take a trip down memory lane. When you were in grade school, whether you had a science project to present or a standardized test to ace, your parents probably advised you to get a good night’s rest. Well, now that you’re older, this sage advice is still applicable, especially in the workforce. When you make time for rest, your cognition is greatly enhanced, which is ideal for productivity and creativity.

 

So, before you retire for bed each night, establish a new routine to get to sleep sooner. Unplug all of your electronic devices at least two to three hours earlier than you normally would. Try playing relaxing music before bed. According to the National Sleep Foundation, music with a soothing rhythm of 60 to 80 beats per minute can help you get to sleep faster. Also, lowering the temperature in your bedroom from 60 to 67 degrees Fahrenheit, as recommended by the National Sleep Foundation, helps your metabolism slow down and tells your circadian rhythm that it is ready for sleep. In this way, you’ll wake up with a recharged mind brimming with divergent ideas and solutions to overcome the day’s challenges.

 

  1. Physical Health

Although you may not realize it as you go about your day, your muscles and joints are working diligently to support your every move. Whether you’re walking throughout your office or walking about your home, your skeletal and cardiac muscles keep you mobile. Akin to your mind and spirit, your body also requires time to rebuild and repair its muscles. Repetitive movements, including typing or working in uncomfortable positions can cause injuries due to overexertion.

 

PhysicalHealth

The most effective way to elevate and maintain prime physical health is to get plenty of rest. Getting adequate sleep, at least 7 to 10 hours, enables your muscles to recover through protein synthesis and human growth hormone release. When you make it a habit to get at least 7 hours of sleep each night, your body will feel better, and you’ll be less susceptible to injuries and illness.

 

When you realize the importance of sleep, you’ll reap these benefits, and so much more. Rest in God’s presence, beloved. Take action today to incorporate rest into your daily agenda, and you’ll be well on your way to enhancing your spiritual clarity, productivity and creativity, and physical health.

 

And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.

Genesis 2:2-3

 



Written by: Shanda Henley

August 14, 2017