Sleep, glorious sleep!

It is in vain (pointless) that you rise up early
    and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil (stress);
    for he gives to his beloved sleep.  Psalm 127:2 (parentheses added)

The importance of sleep is a perennial theme for me.  Now that I’m working at a cognitive tutor (programs based on neuroscience), this theme is more important than ever.  We need sleep for our brains to reorganize and absorb all that we have challenged them with throughout the day.  Your brain is part of your body, and to function properly it needs adequate water, calories, nutrients, oxygen, and SLEEP!  Three things I am doing to help me get my beauty rest:

  • Getting proper nutrition and hydration in the morning and throughout the day, so that I’m not famished when night comes around.
  • Exercise.  Even a light walk every day.  Gym membership coming soon!
  • Cutting caffeine 12 hours before I want to be in bed.
  • Turning off the screens one hour before I want to be asleep.  I’ve heard upwards of three hours, but I’m starting with one and I’ll let you know how that goes.  The blue light from our electronic devices tricks our brains into thinking it’s daytime.  So, no more Pinterest right before bed.   The computer, iPad, and phone must go to rest before I do.  It’s back to paper books for me.
  • Some evenings, even when I’m alone in my house, I need to pull the curtain and effectively close the door to the world.

Finally, a note: there are many things that interrupt our sleep and our ability to sleep.  Many of them are out of our control, or take a long time to resolve.  I know how utterly helpless it can feel when you are doing everything right, and it still doesn’t work!  I suppose this is another area where we do the possible and trust God to do the rest.

In peace I will both lie down and sleep;
    for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8

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