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spiritual awakening for sleep. It may not have ever crossed your mind but sleep
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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Life is about Living

Want to really know what will help you sleep better tonight?  One of the best strategies for getting a good night's sleep begins the moment you wake up in the morning.  When the things of eternal value are pursued during wakefulness, sleep is easy. The conscience is clear--no regrets. No worries.
In the dogged pursuit of things that matter sometimes we fail to recognize the obvious.  Those moments of time to be embraced before they quickly vanish into the past.  Sometimes we stumble upon the signficant serendipitously, like finding the pearl of great price.  It was there all the time.  But the treasure was found only after recognizing it's presence.  Capturing the moment.  Life is about living for eternity--one precious moment at a time.  Sometimes those "things" crawl into your lap.
This morning I was hit over the head with this principle. Instead of lightning rounds in the hospital before the crack of dawn, I had the priveledge of staying home to help the kids prepare for school.  Hoping to catch a quick devotion while my five children were jockeying for a place in the bathroom, I sat down for a quick study of the Psalms.

Out of nowhere, Charlie my four year old crawled into my lap with his morning devotional--a lego dinosaur comic book.  God spoke volumes to both Dad and Charlie through that "lego" devotional. 

Life is about living, nuturing relationships with eternity in mind, knowing that we have captured those moments prepared for us to invest in the lives of others.

Speaking of psalms, this one reminds us of the futility of our own self sufficiency and the need to focus on a lasting legacy--those little ones entrusted to us.  If  you want to sleep better, think about putting a priority on those relationships God has given you.

1 Unless the Lord builds the house,
the builders labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
the guards stand watch in vain.
2 In vain you rise early
and stay up late,
toiling for food to eat—
for he grants sleep to[a] those he loves.
3 Children are a heritage from the Lord,
offspring a reward from him.
4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are children born in one’s youth.
5 Blessed is the man
whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame
when they contend with their opponents in court.
Sleep on it!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Your sleep posture: Does it Matter?

  Probably the last thing that crosses your mind as you lie down to sleep is the significance of your sleep position. Recently there has been a lot of buzz about how your sleep posture may be affecting the quality of your sleep. Instead of blaming your bed it may be your posture that is the culprit for your sleeplessness. Although sleeping flat on your back may be good for your neck, back and joints this position can worsen snoring and sleep apnea by causing your tongue to close off the airway. Sleeping on your stomach worsens gastroesophageal reflux, diminishes the depth of your breathing and hyperextends your neck. Probably the best position is dozing on your side. The side position complements the natural curvature of your spine and allows your airway to stay open as you rest. But sleeping beauties—beware. Sleeping on your side may worsen your wrinkles as you press your face upon your pillow. You should choose a sleep posture tailored to your individual needs—one size does not fit all.

Dr. Idzidkowski, a sleep specialist, maintains that your sleeping position is also linked to a specific personality type. Wherever you go—there you are—even as you sleep. For example, the “freefall” types, those that lie on their tummies with their arms out, like they’re jumping out of an airplane, are often the gregarious, brash and sensitive types. On the other extreme those who rest on their backs with the arms out—the “starfish” stance—tend to be more friendly, helpful and receptive to others. Apparently the most common is the fetal position—almost 41% sleep in a ball. These personalities are often tough on the outside but tender on the inside.

I don’t think sleep specialists are ready to describe my sleeping habits. If “Extreme Sleep” was a TV reality show, I would win hands down at putting sleep to the test. In medical school I was so exhausted that I once slept standing up during surgery while holding retractors. I’m not proud to admit that! I’ve fallen asleep at the steering wheel of my car after staying up for three days during surgical residency. I’ve been so sleep deprived that I’ve fallen asleep eating soup. I’ve even slept on the floor of an African bus with pigs and chickens—probably infested with some rare deadly type of ebola virus.

Has it ever occurred to you that God is also interested in your sleep posture? The most important position that you can embrace is not a physical one—it’s a position of surrendering control of our lives over to the Shepherd of sleep.
You can rest assured:
  1. Knowing that God has removed your sins “as far as the east is from the west” (Psalm 103:12).
  2. Trusting that God is watching over you and working for you as you rest (Psalm 34:15; Psalm 121:4).
  3. Understanding that your future is secure in His providential care (Jeremiah 29:12). You have nothing to fear or worry about—whatever you face tomorrow God has planned it for His glory and for your good.

Tonight as you prepare for rest make sure you get into the proper “spiritual” position. Resting in a clean conscious before God and man is the softest pillow that you can experience. Fall to sleep in His arms.