Experts say that healthy adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night, with few exceptions. Children and teens need more.
A healthy sleep pattern provides a brain boost. Like an external hard drive backing up your laptop at night, during sleep your brain stores memories and all kinds of data. More sleep results in better storage and retrieval later when you need it.
Also, sleep improves emotional stability. That’s right, you process your emotions while sleeping, and discover more emotional balance with more sleep.
While you sleep, your blood pressure lowers, giving your heart and blood vessels a needed rest. Sleep also enhances cell recovery, strengthens your immune system and even helps people lose weight.
Now, there’s a bit of a catch-22 here. Better sleep equals less stress. But to get better sleep, it helps to lay your head on the pillow at night less stressed. So how can you get better sleep, which helps relieve stress, when you’re stressed?
Instead of experiencing the up-and-down wave of stress, worry and anxiety sometimes, and vacation-like restfulness with no worries at other times, try to even things out a bit.
Live in more peace, through all times and circumstances. Instead of allowing circumstances to adjust the level of your stress, adjust the level of your stress to be able to handle any circumstances. You can do this by living in the peace and safety of God.
“In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety” (Psalm 4:8). Notice, God’s peace doesn’t come from good sleep, but rather good sleep comes from God’s peace. And God’s peace cannot be replicated by anything else. Ever.
God alone—the only true Lord of faithful and forgiving love—provides an otherworldly peace that isn’t manipulated by the news. It is true because he says it is. He proved it by the life, death and resurrection of Jesus who promises to give his peace to anyone who believes.
Call it perfect safety. Complete conquest and control of all evil enemies. Complete truth in response to deceptive lies we believe. Complete forgiveness. Nothing can harm you or separate you from God’s love.
So, sleep well, child of God. He keeps you safe. All night. All day.
PRAYER: When I sleep, God, you remain awake so that I don’t have to. Thank you for your heavenly peace, and the perfect safety you promise. Help me turn my stress into rest, and relax because you alone are my Lord and Savior. Amen.
FURTHER MEDITATION: Reflect and review God’s prescription for stress relief. Focus on one or two of the steps where you’d like to improve. Pray about it and write it down for improved implementation.
Stress can be good.
Search for relief by letting God answer.
Sacrifice as God’s child who colors outside the lines.
Satisfaction is complete in God who is your everything.
Sleep well in perfect safety and peace.