Scientific research reveals that sleep is very important to people of all age groups because sleep powers the mind, restores the body, and fortifies virtually every system in the body. The National Sleep Foundation guidelines recommend that teens (14 – 17 years old) should sleep for 8-10 hours; young adults and adults (18 – 64 years old) should sleep for 7-9 hours and older adults (65 or more years old) should sleep for 7-8 hours a day. While it is essential to follow these recommendations, the number of hours an individual sleeps depends on level of activity and health.
Going by the recommendation for young adults and adults, sleeping for an average of eight hours daily amounts to sleeping for 2,920 hours out of 8,760 hours in one calendar year representing 33% of total number of hours. Further analyses show that sleeping for eight hours daily from 18 – 64 years (46 years) amounts to 134,320 hours equivalent to 15 years of sleep. Pretty interesting for someone to sleep for 15 years.
What is the biblical perspective of sleep? God wants His children to take some time to sleep for their mental and physical well-being. However, the Bible teaches us that we shouldn’t sleep more than necessary. While some people can sleep for more than the number of hours recommended, some people pray to God to receive a ‘sleep’ miracle.
“It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.” Psalms 127:2
Although God gives His children sleep, He has warned believers not to sleep more than necessary because of its negative effect on their spiritual and material well-being. An online dictionary defines ‘sleep’ as a condition of body and mind that typically recurs for several hours every night, in which the nervous system is relatively inactive, the eyes closed, the postural muscles relaxed, and consciousness practically suspended. This means that those who end up to sleeping for 15 years of their lives as analyzed above, have not put their minds to work for that period. The Bible tells us that some people are less productive as well as spiritually and materially poor because of sleep.
“Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: so shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man.” Proverbs 24:33-34
The definition of sleep can be applied in the spirit realm because many believers are inactive in prayers and studying of God’s word resulting in insensitivity to the Spirit of God and spiritual happenings. Destinies of so many believers have been exchanged during sleep.
“But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.” Matthew 13:25
Every believer is called to wake up from sleep be it spiritual or physical to live in line with God’s plan and purpose.
“Wherefore he saith, awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.” Ephesians 5:14
May the Holy Spirit help every believer to be awake in order to enjoy spiritual and material blessings in Jesus’ name.
If you are yet to join God’s family so that the Spirit of God will help you to stay awake spiritually and otherwise, say this prayer of salvation – Dear Jesus, come into my heart. I accept You as my personal Lord and Saviour. I believe that You came, died for me and rose again to save me. Unite me by Your Spirit and conform me to Your likeness. I declare that I am born again. Amen!