by Claire Wyatt
A few weekends ago it was gloomy, rainy and cold in Minnesota. While there were grumblings upon grumblings from my fellow citizens of “the land of 10,000 lakes,” I woke up to the gloom and doom of Saturday morning with only one thought, “Praise Jesus. I get to spend the day alternating between watching Netflix and napping.”
And I did. And it was glorious.
The past few months have been busy.
I’m not trying to glorify it; it just is what it is.
I operated with almost zero margin. Things that I usually think are important got sidelined. Relationships, exercise, and healthy eating to name a few.
I also tried to push sleep to the wayside.
Because, successful people don’t sleep right?
There was an article a while back in what I think was the Wall Street Journal. It was profiling this very successful business woman in New York who worked all day, got to bed around midnight and then woke up to do it all over again at 5 am.
So I followed her example, because I wanted to be like her. I worked, studied late, woke up early and subsisted on copious amounts of coffee.
That lasted for like a week.
I was tired all the time. I was moody, irritable and my performance at work was disastrous. So what if I was working longer hours? What I was doing in 10 hours probably could have only taken me 4 if I would have been well rested. And the number of times I had to apologize for saying something insensitive?
It’s more than one and less than 100, but probably closer to the later.
I called my Mom one day from work, because I’m 26 years old, but sometimes I still need my Mom, and was sobbing uncontrollably, most likely about nothing.
Her words, “Claire, did you sleep well last night?”
What can I say, the woman knows me well.
So for the benefit of humanity, and my desire to not turn into Mr. Hyde by 10 am on a weekday, I decided to focus on getting 8 hours of sleep.
Since I wasn’t working as hard as I was before I wondered if I would fail. Then, I stumbled across this verse:
“It is vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep” (Psalm 127:2).
The paraphrase of my study bible notes are, “go to sleep, stupid.”
Just kidding. That’s not what it says.
It basically says that sleep and rest are ways to give up control of your well being to God.
So, giving up control.
I hate it when God asks me to do that.
But God is good, God loves me, and God wants me to experience rest and sleep.
It turns out that science is behind this whole sleep thing too. Another one of my favorite blogs (besides Steve’s, of course) is Farnam Street, written by Shane Parrish. Named after the street where the headquarters of Berkshire Hathaway is located, as well as the street where it’s CEO, Warren Buffet resides, it is the ultimate blog of capitalism, seeking knowledge for knowledge’s sake, logic, reason, enlightenment, and I’m sure there is some atheist undertone. I’m a champion for different perspectives, what can I say.
In one of his blogs, Shane Parrish wrote on the science of sleep. Biggest takeaway? Nothing, literally nothing, not even food, improves your performance as much as getting a solid 8 hours of sleep within every 24. In fact, the human body innately knows that it needs about 1 hour of sleep for every 2 that it’s awake. It INNATELY knows this! It’s almost like someone created us this way …
So, with the dramatic weight of scientific evidence, as well as God on my side, I’m committed to getting my 8 hours. I revel in the joy of naps and get overly excited about rainy Saturdays with nothing to do but watch “Meet Me in Saint Louis,” and “Jumanji,” dozing in between.