Wednesday, March 23, 2011
A healthy person needs seven to eight hours of sleep a night. Many people in today’s fast paced world sacrifice sleep not realizing this can impact their health. Loss of sleep or “sleep debt” is a factor in a third of all accidents. It affects productivity on the job, our frustration levels, and lowers our immune system. There are significant sleep disorders such as sleep apnea that interrupt sleep. Anyone with extreme fatigue or chronic insomnia should see their doctor to rule out physical causes.
To overcome insomnia do the following.
1. Go to bed at the same time every evening. Spend the last hour before bedtime relaxing. If you watch TV, watch calming or funny programs rather than exciting or scary ones.
2. Gradually eliminate caffeine from your diet. Do it gradually or you may get a headache from withdrawing too fast.
3. Cut out alcoholic beverages after 6 or 7 p.m. Alcohol initially relaxes a person but one or two hours later it acts as a stimulant.
4. Exercise during the day so your body is tired. A 20 minute walk will do wonders.
5. A glass of milk or a calcium pill at bed time will relax you.
6. Don't go to bed angry. Talk out the problem if you can. If not, write about your anger and let go of it.
7. If you're keyed up about tomorrow's activities talk or write about it before you go to bed.
8. Anger, hurt or sadness accumulated through the day often wake us at night. Use awake times to express your feelings in tears, in prayer or in journaling.
9. Change the way you think about awake times. Think of insomnia as an opportunity! Learn to enjoy the silence and quiet in the middle of the night. This can be a peaceful time to meditate and to commune with God.
10. Give yourself permission to sleep late. Sleeping late does not mean you’re lazy. You may have trained yourself to ignore your sleep debt.
To learn more about handling insomnia read The Promise of Sleep by William Dement, MD and Insomnia: God’s Night School by Connie Soth.
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” Psalm 91:1
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
One way to do that is to change the way you think about sleep and rest. Researchers tell us that rest, lying relaxed in bed, does as much good for us as sleep. Losing a few hours of sleep is not life threatening. Even those who participate in sleep deprivation experiments are back to normal after one night’s sleep.
Think of insomnia as an opportunity! Learn to enjoy the silence and quiet available in the middle of the night. Make this a peaceful, time to be with yourself and to commune with God. Get out of bed and find a comfortable spot away from other family members. Use this time to meditate, think or pray about whatever comes to mind. Allow feelings to emerge about your life and about events of the previous day. Accept your feelings and thoughts and learn from them. We are usually restless for reasons. Begin noticing minor irritations each day. Talk about them to someone or write about them in a journal.
Examine your life thoroughly. What losses do you need to grieve about? Who has hurt you? Who do you need to forgive? In what ways are you unhappy with your self or with your life? We often compromise our ideals without realizing how troubling this is to us inside. We settle for less than we want in life out of fear of taking risks or because we don’t want to do what we know is right. All of these issues can stir inside us when we relax our day time defenses to go to sleep.
To learn more about approaching wakefulness as a time to enjoy and as an opportunity to grow read Insomnia: Insomnia: God's Night School by Connie Soth.
“Come to me all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Operation World is designed to be used as a prayer guide with a date listed at the bottom of each page so you can work your way through it in a year. Christians around the world can and will be informed, guided and inspired by this book. When we hear about a country in the news or when there is conflict in a region Operation World is a quick resource to learning about the country, understanding the issues and knowing how to pray. My church is using Operation World in weekly prayer meetings, focusing on one country each week. It can also be used by families during family meetings or prayer times, to teach children about our vast world and to educate them about world geography, the diversity of peoples and the vast need to spread the Gospel. Parents who are home schooling will also find this to be a valuable resource.
The Completely Revised -7th edition of Operation World was published in 2010 by Jason Mandryk so the information is as up to date as it possibly could be. Reading and studying Operation World is a great way to increase our knowledge of other countries and cultures and great way give us a heart for missions and to focus our prayers. And it is guaranteed to lessen our provincialism.
“Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone, everywhere.” Mark 16:15 NLT