Getting in those zzz’s is important for your health. Sleep is so important, it helps us regulate our hormones, helps our brain function and helps decrease the risk of certain diseases. “Sleep loss is associated with an increase in appetite that is excessive in relation to the caloric demands of extended wakefulness.“ (Van Cauter et al. 2005)
King et al. found the accumulations of calcified plaque visible in the coronary artery was measured by computed tomography (this is considered a predictor of future coronary heart disease events) was significantly associated with reduced calcification incidence. “Longer measured sleep is associated with lower calcification incidence independent of examined potential mediators and confounders.” (King et al. 2008) Meaning that people who slept more had less build up in the coronary artery. The build up in the artery impacts the blood flow and how hard your heart has to work. Blood not being able to get all over your body and your heart having to try harder to get blood through a smaller artery is not considered healthy.
Sleep effects your body’s ability to process glucose. After 6 days of sleep restriction (4 hours in bed) and after full sleep recovery, the levels of blood glucose after breakfast were higher in the state of sleep debt despite normal or even slightly elevated insulin responses (Van Cauter et al. 2005).
“It is vain for you to rise up early,
To retire late,
To eat the bread of painful labors;
For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep.”
“When 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 to dwell in safety.”
As you can tell there’s no scriptural prescription for the number of hours we should spend in bed, but remember “in abundance of counselors there is victory (Proverbs 11:14). Listening to experts in the field is wise, but you do not need to stress yourself over it. Jesus pulled some late nights and early mornings to spend time with His father. It is a lot to balance trying to spend time with your Father, and manage the other million things you do.
You may want to question yourself if you are toiling in vain or if you are glorifying God with your waking hours. Ask God, He will help guide you to find a healthy perspective and help you plan your day accordingly.. It would also be a good idea to ask those around you who will be honest and ask them about your sleep and time with the Lord, their honesty and perspective may put things in a different light.
God wants you to be able to sleep through the storm as Jesus did. (Matthew 8:23-27)
Resting well is Godly.
The harder you try to fall asleep the harder it is to get to sleep so you may want to check out this post about higher quality sleep.
Bible Verses are NASB
King, C. R., Knutson, K. L., Rathouz, P. J., Sidney, S., Liu, K., & Lauderdale, D. S. (2008). Short sleep duration and incident coronary artery calcification. Jama, 300(24), 2859-2866.
Van Cauter, E., Knutson, K., Leproult, R., & Spiegel, K. (2005). The impact of sleep deprivation on hormones and metabolism. Medscape Neurol Neurosurg, 7(1).