I Will Give You Rest – Part 2 of 2
Last time we discussed two types of rest: spiritual rest that can only come from faith, “For only we who believe can enter his rest,” (Hebrews 4:3) and physical rest that come from sleep.
We must sleep to regenerate the vital nerve energy that flows throughout your nervous system.
Let’s review the dangers of insufficient sleep and some easy tips to help you get the sleep you need.
Dangers of Insufficient Sleep
Think of sleep like a battery charger. It is during sleep that you recharge your body’s electrical system.
Even skipping one night will make you feel sick, disoriented and nearly dysfunctional. And here is a simple test to evaluate if you are getting enough:
Do you wake feeling completely refreshed, alert and ready to go at the required time, without any help?
Hint: if you need an alarm to wake up, you are sleep deprived.
Without sleep you would die in less than 2 weeks. Of course, you’d become severely ill well before death, as insufficient sleep severely compromises your nervous systems.
Too little sleep impacts your levels of thyroid and stress hormones, which in turn can affect your memory, immune system, heart and metabolism.
Sleep deprivation puts your body into a pre-diabetic state, and makes you feel hungry, even if you’ve already eaten. Over time, lack of sleep can lead to high blood sugar and an increased risk of diabetes.
When you are sleep deprived, your body decreases production of leptin, the hormone that tells your brain there is no need for more food. At the same time it increases levels of a hormone that triggers hunger, all leading to increased body fat and weight gain.
Lack of sleep increases your risk of cancer by altering hormone balance. It also contributes to accelerated aging, depression and high blood pressure.
And be warned; sleep deprivation is cumulative.
Most people who suffer with inadequate sleep are unaware, or perhaps unwilling to recognize, the significant impact of their tiredness. They mask the problem with stimulants or stimulating habits and keep on pushing, unaware of the dangerous risks.
When they do finally become aware of the problem, millions of people resort to the use of drugs to help them sleep. Americans fill tens of millions of prescriptions for sleeping pills and spend hundreds of millions on over-the-counter sleep aids.
These drugs are not the answer.
If you have become dependent, switch to natural, non-addictive herbal sleep aides.
Here are some tips to help you get the sleep you desperately need.
A cool, fresh, dark, quiet, comfortable environment is best in which to sleep.
Open the window and turn off the night lights and bright alarm clocks.
It may seem odd, but if at all possible, lay with your head facing north. Your body does have an electromagnetic field and it seems to be much easier to relax when you are laying north-south.
And while considering electromagnetic fields, go ahead and unplug anything creating a strong field in your bedroom: wireless internet; plug-in clocks; computers, etc…
And do not sleep with your cellphone next to your head. Turn it off, if at all possible, so you are not wakened by those rude off-hours texts!
Do something relaxing before bed, like reading the Bible. Avoid any stimulating or distracting entertainment or work at bedtime.
Do not eat late or use stimulants at night.
God cares more about you than all of his creation. Listen to his voice, have faith and enter his rest!