*This is the eight post in a series about “What I want my kids to know before they leave the nest.”

Question for you: How do you view sleep?

A. As a gift necessary for my wellbeing

B. As an interruption to my life

Truth be told, we’re a sleep-deprived nation. Somehow, we’ve come to believe a lie – that sleep isn’t really that important. We push into the corners of our calendars and brag about how little we need.

Meanwhile, Jesus – in the midst of His mission to save the world – says to His disciples, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” (Mark 6:31)

Jesus modeled something that we’ve forgotten: There’s a time for work. And a time for rest.

And then there’s this:

In vain you rise early
and stay up late,
toiling for food to eat—
for he grants sleep to those he loves.  (Psalm 127:2)

Our need for sleep isn’t a curse, it’s a gift! It’s an essential part of the rhythm God knit into our being. We need sleep. It’s not optional. We cannot function without it.

Sleep…

  • lowers inflammation
  • strengthens your immune system
  • enhances mental clarity
  • improves memory
  • regulates hormones

There is actually a lot going on while you’re asleep!

I fear many of us forfeiting the benefits of a full night’s sleep. Instead of thriving, we’re just surviving. In our sleep-deprived stupor, we’ve lost touch with how good we could actually feel if we simply got enough sleep.

Here’s what I tell my kids:

  • You were made to thrive, not just survive.
  • You cannot thrive when you’re sleep deprived.
  • Make it a priority to get 8 hours of sleep every night.

Here’s a few ways to help you get into a healthy rhythm of sleep:

1. Set a sleep schedule and stick to it
2. Optimize your Vitamin D level (60-80)
3. No screens in bedroom (tv, ipads, phones, etc.)
4. Pitch dark = best sleep
5. Get sunlight to eyes first thing in morning
6. Set a caffeine curfew (by 2 pm or earlier)
7. Take magnesium before bed or use topical
8. Keep bedroom cool at night.
9. Exercise in the morning for best sleep at night.
10. Take a warm bath 90 min before bed, if necessary.

Do you make sleep a priority? Leave a comment and let me know!

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