The Biblical Importance of Sleep and Rest
It seems like the busier that our lives are, the less sleep we get. Ironically, sleep is one of the main factors that will help you manage your busy life. Without enough sleep and rest you become more irritable, lethargic, stressed, emotional, and have trouble focusing. God made our bodies to need sleep and rest. We are not God; therefore, we are not meant to stay up all day. Studies indicate that a lack of sleep increases the risk of chronic diseases. Something remarkable happens when you sleep. Your brain is still working, learning, and creating new memories.
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, sleep affects almost every type of tissue and system in the body such as the brain, heart, lungs, metabolism, immune function, mood, and disease resistance. It is recommended that children and teens get 9.5 hours of sleep per night and adults get 7-9 hours of sleep.
You can see throughout the Bible that God wants us to rest for our own good. He exemplified this by resting on the seventh day after creating the world. When we are running around nonstop there is a point where we begin to crash. We need time to replenish and re-energize in order to keep going.
Mark 6:30-31 The apostles returned to Jesus from their ministry tour and told him all they had done and taught. Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn’t even have time to eat.
There is a steady rhythm of work and rest (to life really) that can get thrown off if we don’t listen to our body’s natural inclination. God provided us with the gift of rest for the purpose of restoration and rejuvenation. In order for us to function properly on a continuous basis, we need to stop every once and in a while to get filled back up. Just like when a car runs out of gas, it has to stop for fuel right? If not, we become a target for BURNOUT or shall I say we begin to run on fumes?