What if you suddenly tomorrow you were the receipt of a million dollar lottery cash prize? Or what if you could spend 8 weeks meditating in a Christian monastery with monks? Chances are you'd stop worrying and feel better about life and all it's possibilities. Well, that's what a good night's rest can do for you.
Scientists are showing how improving the quality of your sleep can lead to dramatic mental and physical health benefits. After studying nearly 30,000 people over the span of 4 years, it was discovered that positive changes in sleep duration and quality were associated with better subsequent health and well-being.
Lack of good quality sleep has the opposite effect lowering scores on a range of memory and cognitive function tests. Even weight gain has been associated to poor sleeping habits.
Here's the entire study published in the journal SLEEP (Tang et al., 2017).
Biblical Guidance For Better Sleep
God created man. God created sleep. God created sleep for man's benefit. For decades doctors and scientists have been learning the benefits of sleep. Recently there's been a flurry of scientific activity around the benefits of sleep that highly regarded as something of a miracle. Even Jesus slept so it's probably wise to follow His example and perfect a good sleeping habit.
Many non-transmittable illness such as anxiety, depression, weight gain, hypertension, have been attributed to low quality sleep. If God designed mankind to benefit chances are it's a very healthy habit. Scientists are just now catching up to the reality of the amazing health benefits of 7 to 8 hours of pure wonderful sleep.
Although scientists are only scratching the surface the Bible has a wealth of information about sleep and it's relationship with mankind. Below we included a small dictionary of God's wisdom around sleep. Read the verses, study them, practice them, learn from them, but most importantly, enjoy them.Job 14:12
So a man lies down and rises not again; till the heavens are no more he will not awake or be roused out of his sleep.
The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.”
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
1 Thessalonians 4:15-16
For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.
They shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit. They shall not build and another inhabit; they shall not plant and another eat; for like the days of a tree shall the days of my people be, and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands. They shall not labor in vain or bear children for calamity, for they shall be the offspring of the blessed of the Lord, and their descendants with them.
If you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.
It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.
Love not sleep, lest you come to poverty; open your eyes, and you will have plenty of bread.
I lay down and slept; I woke again, for the Lord sustained me.
A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest,
How long will you lie there, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep?
I will not give sleep to my eyes or slumber to my eyelids, until I find a place for the Lord, a dwelling place for the Mighty One of Jacob.”
He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowl and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day,
And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep.
He said, “Go away, for the girl is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him.
And when he had entered, he said to them, “Why are you making a commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but sleeping.”
Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who have an anxious heart, “Be strong; fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you.” Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy. For waters break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert;
1 Kings 19:5
And he lay down and slept under a broom tree. And behold, an angel touched him and said to him, “Arise and eat.”
2 Corinthians 3:17
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Then the mariners were afraid, and each cried out to his god. And they hurled the cargo that was in the ship into the sea to lighten it for them. But Jonah had gone down into the inner part of the ship and had lain down and was fast asleep.
Ah, Ariel, Ariel, the city where David encamped! Add year to year; let the feasts run their round. Yet I will distress Ariel, and there shall be moaning and lamentation, and she shall be to me like an Ariel. And I will encamp against you all around, and will besiege you with towers and I will raise siege-works against you. And you will be brought low; from the earth you shall speak, and from the dust your speech will be bowed down; your voice shall come from the ground like the voice of a ghost, and from the dust your speech shall whisper. But the multitude of your foreign foes shall be like small dust, and the multitude of the ruthless like passing chaff. And in an instant, suddenly,
1 Thessalonians 4:1-18
Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God;
I have thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, and your messenger and minister to my need, for he has been longing for you all and has been distressed because you heard that he was ill. Indeed he was ill, near to death. But God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow. I am the more eager to send him, therefore, that you may rejoice at seeing him again, and that I may be less anxious. So receive him in the Lord with all joy, and honor such men,
In the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams; his spirit was troubled, and his sleep left him. Then the king commanded that the magicians, the enchanters, the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans be summoned to tell the king his dreams. So they came in and stood before the king. And the king said to them, “I had a dream, and my spirit is troubled to know the dream.” Then the Chaldeans said to the king in Aramaic, “O king, live forever! Tell your servants the dream, and we will show the interpretation.” The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, “The word from me is firm: if you do not make known to me the dream and its interpretation, you shall be torn limb from limb, and your houses shall be laid in ruins.
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.
1 Kings 19:11-12
And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper.
1 Kings 19:4-6
But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he asked that he might die, saying, “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers.” And he lay down and slept under a broom tree. And behold, an angel touched him and said to him, “Arise and eat.” And he looked, and behold, there was at his head a cake baked on hot stones and a jar of water. And he ate and drank and lay down again.
Jacob lived in the land of his father's sojournings, in the land of Canaan. These are the generations of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was pasturing the flock with his brothers. He was a boy with the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father's wives. And Joseph brought a bad report of them to their father. Now Israel loved Joseph more than any other of his sons, because he was the son of his old age. And he made him a robe of many colors. But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him and could not speak peacefully to him. Now Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers they hated him even more.
1 Samuel 30:1-31
Now when David and his men came to Ziklag on the third day, the Amalekites had made a raid against the Negeb and against Ziklag. They had overcome Ziklag and burned it with fire and taken captive the women and all who were in it, both small and great. They killed no one, but carried them off and went their way. And when David and his men came to the city, they found it burned with fire, and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive. Then David and the people who were with him raised their voices and wept until they had no more strength to weep. David's two wives also had been taken captive, Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail the widow of Nabal of Carmel.
And all were weeping and mourning for her, but he said, “Do not weep, for she is not dead but sleeping.”
So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh
In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls on men, while they slumber on their beds,
A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.
And as they sailed he fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water and were in danger.
Then the king went to his palace and spent the night fasting; no diversions were brought to him, and sleep fled from him.
And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
After saying these things, he said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awaken him.”
But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”
Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Sleep and take your rest later on. See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.
1 Thessalonians 4:14
For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.
In the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar had dreams; his spirit was troubled, and his sleep left him.
A Psalm of David. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
When I say, ‘My bed will comfort me, my couch will ease my complaint,’ then you scare me with dreams and terrify me with visions,
“Has not man a hard service on earth, and are not his days like the days of a hired hand? Like a slave who longs for the shadow, and like a hired hand who looks for his wages, so I am allotted months of emptiness, and nights of misery are apportioned to me. When I lie down I say, ‘When shall I arise?’ But the night is long, and I am full of tossing till the dawn. My flesh is clothed with worms and dirt; my skin hardens, then breaks out afresh.
He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how.
On that night the king could not sleep. And he gave orders to bring the book of memorable deeds, the chronicles, and they were read before the king.
Better sleep means better health, better health means better meditation. So get started today and watch you Christian meditation improve overnight, figuratively.