Have you ever had a night were you did not sleep well? How did that impact the rest of your day? It may depend on a lot of factors. When I was younger, I had no issues sleeping well without waking much through the night. The past 2-3 years or so have been a different story. Our daughter just turned one a month ago, and more often than not, she sleeps fairly well through the night. If she doesn’t, then no one else does either. We have a 6 year old that has had difficulty sleeping also and when he wakes up, everyone else knows it also. This has gotten so common, that my sleep schedule has gotten off track and even if everyone else is sleeping well, often I am still not. It has gotten to the point that if I get at least 3-4 hours of sleep a night, I do fairly well during the day, but less and I am struggling a bit. If I get 6-8 hours I feel a bit groggy, as it seems to be too much sleep for me. Sometime, I hope to get back to a normal routine were I get a regular amount of sleep that is just right. What happens when you do not get a good night’s sleep?
When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. Proverbs 3:24
A couple weeks ago, I had to finish a project and I worked through the night without any sleep. I pushed through the day and by the next evening, I could tell that my judgement and reactions were impaired. I don’t think I had done this since an all-night cram session in college, but my body did not recover quite as quickly as it did then. I can definitely understand why sleep deprived drivers can cause accidents. This past year, I worked with a High School student who was often tired and wanted to sleep through the day. When I asked him how much sleep he got, he wouldn’t say, but did note that he stayed up very late playing video games most nights. In an age where electronic devices, social media, binge watching, and other distractions make it easy to stay up late, we seem to be losing the battle for a good night’s sleep. What do you do to ensure everyone gets to bed on time?
Do not love sleep or you will grow poor; stay awake and you will have food to spare. Proverbs 20:13
Distractions aside, one factor that may help as much as anything is being disciplined about getting to bed on time. We have a bedtime routine for the kids with bath, and books, and songs to help them know it is bedtime. I should do the same. After the kids are in bed, there are fewer distractions and I can actually get something done around the house, but at the same time am usually exhausted and if I stop moving for more than a few minutes, my body wants to fall asleep. If I nod off for a while, and wake up again, I need to get to bed quickly, or my body thinks I just had a nap and am ready to go for a few hours again. I need to be better disciplined about reading, devotions, bedtime, exercise, and other things, because it helps me physically, mentally, spiritually, relationally and in almost every area of life. In fact, often my prayers are for sound sleep, and structure in my life to get done all that I need, and to give the rest up to God each day. I never get done all that I want in a day, but hopefully all that is needed to do well.
In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8
The more we trust in the Lord and give control up to Him, the less stress and anxiety we will have in our lives. No matter how much we do, there is always more we can do, and we should not feel guilt or regret in a job well done. Learn from our mistakes and move on. Doing selfish things that negatively impact our sleep and lives should teach us to change or face the consequences of our actions. Do the best you can with what you can control, and give the rest up to the Lord or seek His advice on what you can do better. May you find a good balance in your work and rest to help you sleep well each night and day that you entrust to the Lord.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
Yours in Christ,