Sleep, Rest & Recreation
As described in the scriptures.
The Bible talks about getting a good night sleep? Really? Yes, and about not over working and having a little recreation.
Let's start with how to sleep well.
Not too much: " [Yet] a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:" Proverbs 6:10, KJV. Over sleeping as been linked to health issues and disrupts the next circadian rhythm, recking your next night's sleep. Source
Best at night (or at least in the dark): "And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram;" Genesis 15:12, KJV. While this verse does not speak directly that sleep is best at night we all know that nocturnal human activity is recent to having electricity. For thousands of years we've slept at night, in the dark. Melatonin production increases until 9pm and then through the night, but it falls off IF the room is not dark. A pitch black room will allow for more melatonin protection. So why do you need melatonin? It is the 'youth vitamin'. Some melatonin converts into serotonin, which we've already discussed the benefits of, but melatonin is also the rejuvenation hormone. People with more melatonin look and feel younger (more energy) than their deprived counterparts. Source
Trusting God helps us sleep. " I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep; for thou only, LORD, makest me dwell in safety." Psalm 4:8, KJV. "When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: but thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet." Proverbs 3:24, KJV. " Upon this I awaked, and beheld; and my sleep was sweet to me." Jeremiah 31:26, KJV. " And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had fled." Acts 16:27. Here Paul slept through a major event because he was at peace with whatever God had in store for him. Like Peter, who was fast asleep the night of his scheduled trial (and possible execution). "The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance." Acts 5:6, NIV.
Blankets, staying warm, comfort and safety. " For that is his only covering, it is his raiment for his skin: wherein shall he sleep? and it shall come to pass, when he crieth to me, that I will hear; for I am gracious." Exodus 22:2, KJV. "In any case thou shalt deliver to him the pledge again when the sun goeth down, that he may sleep in his own raiment, and bless thee; and it shall be righteousness to thee before the LORD thy God." Deuteronomy 24:13, KJV. Israelites were forbidden to keep a mans coat (what he slept in) as collateral for a loan overnight. Science again supports scripture. People sleep better when comfortable and warm (but not too warm). Source
Work, accomplishing positive tasks, helps us to sleep well. " The sleep of a laboring man is sweet, whether he eateth little or much: but the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep." Ecclesiastes 5:12, KJV. We also see in this verse that 'abundance', which is likely more referring to worrying about all their 'things, responsibilities, and money", disrupts sleep.
Over work & stress rob sleep: " And Jacob was wroth, and chided with Laban: and Jacob answered and said to Laban, What [is] my trespass? what [is] my sin, that thou hast so hotly pursued after me?" Genesis 31:36, KJV. "This twenty years [have] I [been] with thee; thy ewes and thy she goats have not cast their young, and the rams of thy flock have I not eaten. That which was torn [of beasts] I brought not unto thee; I bare the loss of it; of my hand didst thou require it, [whether] stolen by day, or stolen by night. [Thus] I was; in the day the drought consumed me, and the frost by night; and my sleep departed from mine eyes." Genesis 31:38-40, KJV. Here Jacob has worked hard for Rachel, the love of his life and relates how hard he worked and the stress of doing a good job. He describes lack of sleep over it all "my sleep departed from mine eyes". When something is left undone it often robs us of sleep.
Wisdom & gratitude: "And the thing pleased Haman; and he caused the gallows to be made. On that night could not the king sleep, and he commanded to bring the book of records of the chronicles; and they were read before the king. And it was found written, that Mordecai had told of Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king's chamberlains, the keepers of the door, who sought to lay hand on the king Ahasuerus." Esther 6:1, 2, KJV. The King had not acknowledged Mordecai's saving his life. Gratitude is essential for good health. Our conscience can bother us when we leave things undone. This is not to say all your tasks for the day must be accomplished, but that you should deal with relationship issues as soon as you notice/remember them. "…keep sound wisdom and discretion: So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck" "When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet." Proverbs 3:21-22, 24, KJV.
Recreation and rest from work is another aspect of health the Bible talks about.
"There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God, for apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment?" Ecclesiastes 2:24-25
A FULL day of REST!
"Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work." Exodus 20:8-10, NIV. That word "remember" tells us this is NOT a new thing. Let's go back to the beginning. "Thus the heavens and the earth were completed, and all their hosts. By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made." Genesis 2:1-3, NASB.
God wanted us to have a break! "Six days thou shalt do thy work, and on the seventh day thou shalt rest: that thine ox and thine ass may rest, and the son of thy handmaid, and the stranger, may be refreshed." Exodus 23:12, KJV. Longevitiy studies show Seventh-day Adventists live longer and just ONE of the factors the experts have determined is a positive influence on their health is their faithful keeping of Sabbath, a piece of time that is shared with the creator. Source