As the days begin to get shorter heading into the second half of the year, I would like to highlight the importance and value of sleep. It’s easy to stay up late in the summer, especially when it stays light until almost 10 p.m.
For many families, back to school means back to a regular routine, and that includes a bed time routine. Quality sleep can make or break how you feel the next day, your energy levels, how well children behave and focus in school, and also the amount of healing and repair that occurs in your body. Here is some Biblical wisdom and some considerations for quality sleep:
1) Sleep based on God’s design:
God designed the earth, the sun and people to work and function together. We are designed to get up when the sun rises and go to bed shortly after the sun sets. One reason we know this is because after the sun sets, our body produces melatonin that drips into our spinal cord which makes us sleepy.
If you are not outside and you are using fake lighting that stresses and fools the nervous system (T.V., video games, cell phones, etc), then your body may not produce melatonin properly.
One reason we have such an insomnia problem is America is that we use technology and don’t live out in the world God designed for us! Have you ever been camping? Notice how the sun goes down and you are exhausted and quickly go to bed. This is because you are outside and your body is working based on God’s design.
2) Melatonin is likely NOT a good supplement for you:
We live in a synthetic world. Men are “re-creating” nature in a laboratory. Almost all melatonin supplements are made from PETROLEUM.
This is why people become dependent on melatonin, continue to increase dosages to get an effect and it causes your own body to stop producing melatonin naturally!
This is not a sleep solution, it is becoming drug dependent.
Going outside for a walk as the sun sets will help produce melatonin. Melatonin can be found naturally, from rice, but very few health food stores are aware of this and use these products. Please do not assume everything you buy at a health food store is good for you.
3) Minerals are crucial for sleep:
Magnesium is the #1 mineral deficiency in America. Taking magnesium before bed can calm the nervous system, relax blood vessels and turn off a busy brain. If you have trouble falling asleep, magnesium may become a good friend. Everyone needs it. A magnesium bath before bed can be great for calming children and getting them prepared for bedtime. Other electrolytes are important as well, which would include calcium, potassium and sodium.
4) Light some candles:
Something our family has been doing recently is lighting candles. As the sun sets, we light candles and ALL technology in the house is turned off (this means no lights, television, cell phones, computers, etc.)
What an amazing way to disconnect from the modern world and return back to the “good old days.” It makes me think of all those episodes of Little House on the Prairie I watched growing up with my mom, the simple life before technology. We have found it a great way to unwind, relax and connect with our family. Without technology to distract us or entertain us, instead we connect with each other by talking, telling stories, reading the Bible, or playing games.
5) We all need growth hormones:
Growth hormones are released during sleep, but only if you go to bed on time. Growth hormone is release in the body sometime between 9 p.m. and midnight after going to sleep.
If you go to bed at midnight or later, you miss it. Again, this is based on how God designed us to go to sleep after the sun sets. Why is growth hormone important?
Many call it the anti-aging hormone. It’s what helps young ones to grow strong and for us older ones to stay young! Growth hormone is crucial for the body to heal, repair and grow healthy new cells and tissues.
God clearly required rest and sleep for all creatures on this earth. There is a reason that all life is governed by the sun rising and the sun setting. It would benefit us to honor God’s design even in a busy, complex, technology-filled world.
–Vaughn Lawrence is a natural health care practitioner, herbalist and owner of Spirit of Health who lives by their motto: “We Love God. We Love People. We Love Health. www.spiritofhealthkc.com.