I read a crazy statistic that said “In 1850 Americans crawled into bed at a reasonable hour and slept an average of 9.5 hours a night. By 1910, half the country had electricity, but our recent ancestors were still breathing evenly with their eyes closed, on average, nine hours a night. By 1950 an average night’s sleep decreased to 8 hours. And by 2008, Americans, on average, go 6.5 hours of sleep a night.” - Kathy Peel – America’s Family Manager
We are a sleep deprived nation.
I would go out on a limb and say that it is affecting our marriages, parenting and homemaking negatively.
It is much more difficult to be patient when we feel tired.
It is much more difficult to be consistent in training our children when we feel tired.
It is much more difficult to be “joyful in all circumstances” when we are tired.
So what do we do? We must make sleep a priority. We must learn to manage ourselves more wisely!
Ephesians 5:15,16 says “Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.”
Let’s evaluate our hours in the day and consider:
2. Set up routines that include enough time for adequate rest. Do we waste time trying to figure out what is for dinner or trying to find a lost piece of paper. Do we procrastinate and do all our housework in one day? Read my weekly routines here. Managing our rest includes managing our time during the day well – so there’s time to sleep!
3. Budget your time like you budget your money. Make space in life for slowing down to smell the roses or for an afternoon power nap! Do we view our time as precious? Just as we spend money – we spend time. We have a limited amount of time in the day – just 24 hours.
4. We’ve got to disconnect. It’s hard for me to not feel anxious in the morning to hop onto facebook or twitter to see what happened overnight. But these lost minutes in life should not cut in on my rest or time with my family. We need to disconnect from facebook, message boards, texting and any other technology that will steal our sleep. If this is hard for you – set a timer (I’ve been using my cell phone alarm) and when it goes off – disconnect!
5. Choose a bedtime goal and strive to be there every night. It is best for our bodies if we attempt to go to bed around the same time 7 nights a week. For years, I was very disciplined and always went to bed while there was a 10 on the clock (usually around 10:55pm) and I always woke when there was a 6 on the clock…sometimes 6:01am and other times 6:59am. This allowed me to get 8 hours of sleep – but lately I’ve been going to bed too late and I’ve exhausted myself.
This week’s challenge:
As Ephesians 5:15 says – we need to be very careful how we live – we need to be wise – because the days are short. Our lives are but a vapor – we are here today and gone tomorrow. I’m not advocating over indulgence of sleep but rather – I want to encourage women who are cutting themselves short and as a result not able to live out God’s commands during the day. We will be weak to temptation when we are sleep deprived. God created our bodies to need rest. Sleeping shows our dependence on God – we recognize that we are not God – all powerful – and we must humble ourselves and sleep. And when we are well rested – we will be able to be sharp and alert – apt to teach and serve our loved ones!
So, be wild and crazy one night and go to bed super early! Surprisingly this is more fun than you can imagine! Especially in the morning when you wake up and think – WOW – I just slept 9 hours! Put the kids to bed and then you go to bed too! If you wake too early, enjoy the quiet morning with a cup of coffee and your Bible. Your family will be blessed by receiving the gift of a well rested wife and mommy.
Walk with the King!
Every Wednesday we will have a link-up. If you are a blogger we invite you to link-up any blog posts that you have written about your quiet time that week. We ask that you put our button in the post or on your sidebar so we can find each other. We do not have code for this link up button. Just right click and save as. Then link it to http://www.goodmorninggirls.org