Did you know that sleep deprivation is considered by Amnesty International as a form of torture? There is good reason. Lack of sleep takes a toll on our health, our mood, our mental capacity and our productivity. Our bodies naturally desire between 7 and 8 hours of sleep per night and we need at least one full day of rest from work to operate at our highest capacity.
I believe this is one of the reasons that rest is included in the Ten Commandments. Listen to the fourth commandment.
“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, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns.”
I once observed a co-worker who slurred his speech while talking at an important meeting. It seemed as if he had been drinking. That same day his wife called me and said she was worried about his erratic behavior and moodiness and wanted to know if I noticed anything unusual at the office. It turned out, he had been taking a diet pill that prevented him from getting proper rest for about 60 days. He was essentially exhausted.
Maybe next year would be a good time for you to practice resting more. Get 8 hours sleep each day by going to bed earlier. Shut down all technology at least 30 minutes before bed to let your mind rest. Don’t work or study on Sundays to allow God and your family to have your undivided attention.