ACHIEVE GREATNESS WITH YEMI AND BIMBO DAVIDS
Day 17 October 2019
Rest and sleep
Scripture Reference: “It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows; For so He gives His beloved sleep.” – Psalm 127:2
Scientists have done a lot of research on rest and sleep, but we still don’t really know why we need to sleep. We do, however, know that regular periods of rest and sleep are vital to our personal well-being. Being deprived of sleep is dangerous: it limits our ability to do things like drive and can also make us ill.
Of course, everyone’s needs for sleep differ slightly. Margaret Thatcher, the former British Prime Minister, famously claimed to need only four hours sleep every night, and more recently, there has been almost an epidemic amongst CEOs claiming kudos for early rising. What is important is to be aware of your personal sleep patterns, and ensure that you get enough sleep on a regular basis to function effectively.
The exact reasons why we need to sleep remain a mystery. However, it is known that in order for humans (and many other species) to be able to function optimally, periods of sleep are required. During periods of sleep our bodies repair muscle and our mind stores, organises and links memories. At the same time, important hormones that control essential bodily functions are regulated in the bloodstream, our immune systems are strengthened, and the risk of serious diseases is reduced.
Lots of changes occur in the body and mind when we awake from sleep. These changes will vary with the quality and duration of the sleep received. Waking from early stages of sleep is different from waking after a full uninterrupted quality sleep when the body has had time to complete a successful sleep cycle.
When we wake our heart rate, blood pressure and breathing rate all rise as does our body temperature. Various hormone levels change, notably, cortisol (the stress hormone) rises to enhance the feeling of alertness in the morning. Our major internal organs switch to ‘wake mode’ and begin to function optimally.
The waking process can take a little time before we feel refreshed and ready to go, and it is normal to feel sleepy for a little while after waking from a deep sleep. Although our knowledge of exactly why we sleep is lacking, we do know a lot about the effects of not sleeping, too little sleep and/or low quality sleep.
Our overall quality of life can be seriously affected by lack of quality sleep and this can heavily influence how we behave and perform, how we feel and even how we look.
Daily digest: “People who had trouble falling asleep each night were three times more likely to develop heart failure than those who reported no trouble sleeping.” (European Heart Journal)
Prayer: Dear Lord, continue to walk beside me as I progress, and strive to become a better, stronger person in You. Guide my actions, my thoughts, my words, my deeds.