(By Kim)

How often do you pick up your Bible to read and your eyes immediately feel heavy and your mouth instead of declaring the Scriptures yawns away to glory?

It happens with me sometimes. In fact, it happens with all of us.

Then there are times when you skip your personal time with the Lord or are even late to your Sunday church service or workplace because you can’t get out of bed on time.

Well, we know that sleep is good. Sleep is important. So we need to sleep. But if you are someone who has fallen in love with your sleep, this post is for you. Look at what the Bible says:

  • Do not love sleep or you will grow poor; stay awake and you will have food to spare. (Proverbs 20:13)
  • He who gathers in summer is a wise son, But he who sleeps in harvest is a son who causes shame (Proverbs 10:5)
  • A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to rest; So your poverty will come like a prowler, And your want like an armed man (Proverbs 24:33,34).

Your sleep needs are individual

According to National Sleep Foundation (yes, there is one!), not only do different age groups need different amounts of sleep, but sleep needs are also individual. Just like any other characteristics you are born with, the amount of sleep you need to function best may be different for you than for someone who is of the same age and gender.

The sleep-edit challenge

I have a question for you: Are you able to function best with your current amount of sleep?

If your answer is no, my post for you ends here. You need to get some more sleep. But if your answer is yes, I want to challenge you to:

1. Crop down some of your sleep hours and test if your body is able to adjust. By now, you may know what amount of sleep your body needs to feel refreshed for the day. (The best way to find out how much sleep you need is to sleep less until you don’t function well). This can be 15 minutes, half an hour, one hour or even more.

2. Utilize this time that you save from not sleeping by doing something more productive that will have an eternal impact like pray, study the Word, meditate upon Scriptures, worship, compose songs, pray in tongues, read a spirit filled book etc. You can also use this time to develop your gifts, or indulge in a hobby or desire that you always dreamed of but didn’t have the time to pursue.

You see we all have excuses about lack of time.  And this can be a simple way to redeem your time. ‘Watch and pray’ is what Jesus said to the disciples in the garden of Gethsemane, but they were found sleeping.

Early bird catches the fish

Recently I started reading the book The Early to Rise Experience by Andy Traub and I am realising how rising up early has so many advantages, especially for a mother like me. I get to spend time seeking the Lord alone and I am also able to finish a lot of chores before my son gets up in the morning. Not that I sleep till late hours in the morning, but sacrificing a little of my regular sleep time is doing the trick for me. I am trying to be intentional about how I am living and after the initial hiccups, it is working out well for me.

I like the fact that Jesus was an early riser. He gave the first and the best part of the day communing with His Father. I also believe that rising early didn’t happen all of a sudden to Him, but it must have been the outcome of a habit or lifestyle he must have chosen as a child.

Again, early to rise is not about getting less sleep. It’s about using your time more wisely.

A call for discipline in sleep

Mind you, am not advocating you to join an early risers club. If you are a night bird or a working professional, your sleep patterns may be very different. Some of you may be better active in the night when all others are sleeping.

All that I am trying to say is that sometimes too much of a good thing is not good. Talk to any successful leader or a visionary and you will know that they are disciplined in their sleep patterns. So while you were busy dreaming of things in your sleep, they were busy implementing things that they dreamed of!

Some of us have really fallen in love with our previous sleep hours. But this day onwards try something different. Cut out some time from your sleep and earmark it for doing something that you always dreamed of.  Let me know how it fares.