Sleep is one of the most overlooked aspects of health. For some reason we think we can cheat ourselves out of sleep, yet maintain a healthy lifestyle. We often decide to watch one more show on TV, finished one more aspect of our work project, or simply get that last think checked off of our “to-do” list before we turn in. The result: fatigue, irritability, stress, and an overall survival mentality. Not exactly what God intended for us.
The psalmist reminds us, “It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.” (Psalm 127:2) This passage’s content is foreign to us. It has been drilled into our heads that we have to get up before the crack of dawn and go hard all day until we fall into bed out of exhaustion. This is the only prescription for success in our culture. Yet, we read from the Psalmist that getting up late AND going to bed late is sustainable. Most of us are naturally either morning or night people. If your job allows it, play into your strength and be one or the other, but don’t try to be both. If your job doesn’t allow it and you have to be at work early then become a morning person and get to bed at a decent hour.
In order to give sleep proper attention, we have to retrain our minds to view it as a gift from God. We are His beloved and he offers us the gift of sleep today.