Let’s admit it, we could all use more sleep. Many of us complain of being tired all the time, but we just don’t see how we can get more rest.
Work, family, entertainment (or any combination of those) continually interfere with us getting a good night’s sleep. Many of us don’t have the traditional nine to five schedule. Whether you’re a college student, pastor or someone who works business hours in order to pursue a writing or acting career on the side, sleep seems like a guilty pleasure to a lot of us. How can we get everything accomplished and still be rested and healthy?
God designed sleep as part of our lives in order to renew and rejuvenate us. It’s a blessing from Him. Look at Jesus and His ministry on earth. He worked hard to do His Father’s will, but also withdrew with His disciples to rest and pray. Jesus didn’t even think a storm while at sea was important enough to prevent Him from a good night’s sleep. If we look at sleep as a part of God’s blessing, maybe we can put it in the proper perspective.
As for more practical ways to deal with sleep and a crazy schedule, you need to determine how much sleep you need to function. Some people naturally need less sleep than others; some need a full eight hours while some can get by on five or six hours. Night owls tend to need less sleep than early risers. In fact, a recent study shows people who get five to seven hours of sleep live longer than those who get eight or more hours. Once you determine the amount of sleep you need, figuring out how to get sleep within your schedule can begin
One practical idea is sliding around your schedule to fit work and family needs. Instead of staying up to the wee hours of the morning to get work accomplished, get to bed earlier and rise early to begin the work day. That way, the evening can be spent with family. Some other suggestions include delegating your work load or deciding day to day what needs to be taken care of immediately and what can wait.
Another way to relax and possibly get more sleep is to take a Sabbath day every week or two. Not in the way the Pharisees did, but have a day or even a few hours to set aside work and spend time with God, read for pleasure, relax with family, or even catch up on sleep. This doesn’t have to take place on Sunday, but any day you have free will do. The night of your Sabbath can also be used to get a full eight hours of sleep.
If you have trouble simply falling asleep, here are some other suggestions from WebMD.
[+] Avoid caffeine, nicotine and alcohol before bedtime.
[+] Try to go to bed around the same time every night.
[+] Only use your bed for sleep. Don’t watch television in bed.
[+] Exercise early in the day, preferably before dinner.
[+] Sleep in a cool, dark environment. Buy heavy drapes or put aluminum foil on your windows.
[+] Deal with stress so you don’t take it with you to bed at night.
Many of us in ministry or working for Christian organizations feel we need to continually give ourselves in service to Christ and others. However, if a person becomes burnt out from overwork and lack of rest, their ministry will definitely suffer. Ask God with a humble heart to help you set priorities according to what is good for the kingdom. He has a way of showing what is important and what is not in this life.
Now, go get some rest.
Question: What are some tips to get yourself on a normal sleep schedule?