Our sleep not only impacts our work, but also illuminates how we are handling the stress associated with it.
Sleep is vital. Without enough sleep we are affected physically; our immunity goes down and our energy levels decline. Not only that, we are affected mentally; our ability to think clearly and critically is compromised.
None of this is a surprise. There is a constant flow of articles and books reminding us of the value of sleep. And yet, sleep is a struggle for many of us, at least some of the time.
I have personally seen my sleep correlating to my work in two ways, first the length of my sleep, and second, the quality.
The length of sleep is fairly straightforward. When I work longer hours, especially evenings, it is easy to bump some sleep to get “more” work done. This may work in the short-term, but it eventually will catch up, doubly so with young kids who wake up in the middle of the night.
More subtle, and harder to address, is the quality of sleep. I find that my level of stress at work directly affects my sleep, causing me to stay awake when I want to sleep, or sleep fitfully when I finally manage to sleep.
The are many tips and techniques to help you sleep, from reducing screen time before bed, to diet and exercise – all of which can be beneficial. Yet the biggest source of peace and rest in my life, even during the hardest work seasons, has been when I regularly meditate on God’s word and remember who He is, rather than meditating on the challenges and worries at work.
As this is an ongoing struggle for me, my sleep is a great litmus test for how I am trusting God. My encouragement is to evaluate your sleep in light of this, then turn to the Lord for the peace only He can give.
In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.
Psalm 4:8 ESV
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