In Genesis 2:2 & 3 we read about our 8th and final principle of WELLNESS - Sufficient Rest. We read, “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.”
Sleep is essential t o maintain a well balanced mind and healthy body. It allows your body to renew itself and aids in healing. Rest strengthens the immune system and can add years to your life. If deprived of adequate sleep, great demands are made on your back-up energy resources. If you do this habitually, you can expect to have little resistance to disease and stress.
Not all sleep, however, is equal. The hours before midnight are better than the hours after, and this is true physiologically. When you get to sleep a few hours before midnight, it coordinates with the body’s natural secretion of melatonin (the circadian rhythm hormone) and the body is more rested. The old saying, “Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise” has validity to it.
Adults need about 7-9 hours of sleep daily, with decreasing amounts as one ages. Children need more.
A mistake that many people make is using medications to help them sleep. This actually decreases the beneficial sleep cycles and leaves you lest rested, and you become dependent upon them for sleep. It is best to avoid them altogether.
In order to get a good night’s sleep, follow these simple tips:
- Avoid caffeine, tobacco, or alcohol.
- Exercise on a regular basis, but not within 2-3 hours of bedtime.
- Don’t eat within 3 hours of bedtime.
- Have a regular relaxing bedtime routine that you follow each night.
- Go to bed at the same time each night
- If you have trouble sleeping at night, then avoid taking naps during the day.
- Avoid anything exciting before bedtime (movies, TV, news, etc.)
- Make a list before bedtime of all you need to accomplish and plan ahead before bedtime how you will accomplish it. Then refuse to think about them after you lie down.
- Pray and give your worries and problems to Jesus and let Him carry them.
- Memorize promises from the Bible that speak about peace and God being in control.
Don’t forget that you need a day each week to break from the daily grind of work and stress; a day to be grateful as we reflect on God’s goodness over the prior week. That is one reason God gave us the Sabbath at creation.
God bless you abundantly as you learn to live God’s WELLNESS way.