"It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep."--Psalm 127:2(KJV)
In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety."
According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), sleep is essential for optimal health and well-being. Yet, a recent survey they conducted revealed that at least 40 million Americans suffer from over 70 different sleep disorders! It was also revealed that 60% of adults have problems sleeping at least three nights out of a week and 40% of adults experience daytime sleepiness.
Inadequate rest can lead to:
* weight gain
* mental fogginess
* high blood pressure
* depression and anxiety
* impaired memory
* decreased ability to multi-task
* difficulty concentrating
* decreased creativity
Ultimately, inadequate sleep deprives us of the ability to function and go about our day to day tasks and responsibilities at an optimal level of performance.
So, if we know the importance of sleep and the detriment of not getting enough of it, why aren't we sleeping?
The Bible is very clear on the importance of sleep and adequate rest. God is also keenly aware that anxiety, worry, and fear will inhibit sleep. Therefore, He gives us a remedy. He reminds us of the futility of excessive work without rest in an effort to gain. He also gives us a promise that his peace will be our bedding; our bed, pillow, and blanket. He reassures us that when we are in his peace we are safe.
Remember the prophet Elijah? When Jezebel got wind that he had defeated the false prophets Baal in I Kings 19. She was so furious that she put a bounty out for the prophet! Jezebel was a ruthless, wicked, and treacherous woman who evoked a spirit of fear and intimidation. Even the great prophet, Elijah needed comfort and reassurance. What did the Lord do? The Word of God tells us that the angel of the Lord ministered to the prophet; he gave Elijah something to eat and told him to get some rest. God knows we need rest and proper sleep.
I was recently able to sit in on a counseling session with our pastor. The person he was counseling revealed an on-going problem with insomnia. The person also experienced tormenting nightmares. Our pastor encouraged this individual to read the Psalms at bedtime until he/she fell asleep. This person wisely complied with his recommendation, and has been sleeping like a baby for the first time in years!