Let’s talk sleep. Are you getting enough? Is the sleep you’re getting good, restful and replenishing? God created sleep as an integral part of the spirit, soul and body connection He put in place (Psalm 4:8, 127:2). Just look at the benefits He designed for sleep to give you:
- Sleep stimulates your brain to improve your mood and combat stress and anxiety
- Sleep restores your body by reducing inflammation
- Sleep boosts your immune system
- Sleep improves your memory as well as your ability to learn, study and be creative
- Sleep makes it more likely for you to maintain a healthy weight by regulating the hormones that cause hunger and satiety, or fullness
- Sleep helps regulate blood sugar
What constitutes healthy sleep? Healthy sleep generally includes seven to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep per night. However, this number may differ for you. So take note of how you feel with different amounts of sleep. Do you feel rested after six hours of sleep, whereas seven leaves you groggy? Or maybe you feel stronger with 8 ½ or nine hours of sleep. It’s more important to follow how God designed your body than to follow a list. And, if you need help achieving better sleep, try these tips:
- Stick to a schedule. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day instead of allowing your bed times/wake times to fluctuate.
- Create a bedtime routine. Over time, by following a bedtime routine, your body will begin to prepare for sleep the closer you get to lights out. This could include taking a warm bath or shower, reading before lights out or deep-breathing exercises.
- Watch your diet. Avoid caffeine, a key ingredient in coffee, tea and chocolate, which can either make it hard to fall asleep or wake you up during the night. Also avoid foods and drinks that will cause you to feel sluggish when you wake up.
- Protect your sleep space. Avoid taking work and media into your bedroom. Both of these can stimulate your brain and make falling asleep more difficult.
Commit to improving your sleep as you work through these this week. Realize that God created you as a whole person—spirit, soul and body. Those three areas affect each other. So as you are strengthening your spirit, strengthen your mind and body with better sleep. This will, in turn, strengthen your spirit and help you achieve a more peaceful life.
This article is taken out from page 67-68 of Your 10-Day Spiritual Action Plan for Overcoming Stress, Anxiety & Depression.
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