Do you find it hard to sleep? We hear from someone who struggles with sleep about how sleep works and some surprising ways to get better rest. It's sleep awareness week and this episode is sure to put you to sleep.
Our guest: Andrew Laird works for City Bible Forum in Melbourne and oversees Life@Work - an initiative aimed at connecting Christian faith with our daily work. He’s a popular speaker and writer.
This episode was originally broadcast and released on 3rd September 2017, hence the absence of an episode number. This episode of Bigger Questions was originally released as Episode 52 under the show's previous title 'Logos Live'.
Check out the video from our Monday night Facebook Premiere (you can still access the video after the Premiere).
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Now today we’re talking about getting a good night’s sleep. What made you interested in sleep?
Are you a good sleeper?
Today’s smaller questions are about ‘losing sleep’.
The importance of sleep
Now the the record holder of the world’s longest period without sleep, Maureen Weston reported hallucinations, paranoia, blurred vision, slurred speech and memory and concentration lapses at the end of her record breaking stint. Is this why sleep is so important?
Scientists estimate that, were such an experiment possible, you would die of lack of sleep before you die of lack of food. That’s not an experiment that you’d like to be a part of?
Tell us a bit about our sleep rhythms. It seems that that there is an order and almost beauty in them?
Problems with sleep
If sleep is so good for us, why do we have slogans like, you snooze you lose. Is sleep undervalued?
Several years ago John Brennan was appointed head of CIA in the United States. At the press press conference where his appointment was announced, US President Barack Obama said,
“I don’t know anyone who works harder than him. He once told me “I don’t do down time”. I’m not sure he’s slept in four years”
How do you react to Obama’s assessment of Brennan as ‘not doing down time’?
But isn’t sleep inefficient?
But to think like this is common in our world?
But is this view of sleep healthy?
Why do you think he does it?
What are the causes of sleep loss, apart from rocking chair competitions and lots of work?
What is at their heart?
So what keeps you awake at night?
So what have you done to help overcome this?
Bible's answer: Psalm 4
You may be surprised, but the Bible speaks a lot about sleep. The part of the Bible we’re reflecting on today comes from the Psalms. The Psalms are the song book of the Bible. And today we’re reflecting on Psalm 4. The Psalmist has a lot on his mind doesn’t he? He cries out to God in verse 1,
Answer me when I call to you,
my righteous God.
Give me relief from my distress;
have mercy on me and hear my prayer.
Why do you think he was distressed?
Do you think he had trouble sleeping?
You can relate to this man’s feelings?
Bible's answer: trust in the sovereignty and goodness of God
So the Psalmist has all the ingredients for a bad night’s sleep. He has a lot on his mind, what is his solution? He asks for relief - does he get it?
How does this help give a good night’s sleep?
The Psalm closes with these beautiful words,
In peace I will lie down and sleep,
for you alone, Lord,
make me dwell in safety.
So the Psalm opens outlining the man’s distress, yet it closes here where the man sleeps in peace and safety. What has changed?
It’s interesting that the man’s distress still remains, and his solution isn’t to run away or try to change his circumstances is it?
The idea of safety suggests the control but also the goodness of God doesn’t it?
3 Know that the Lord has set apart his faithful servant for himself;
the Lord hears when I call to him.
Tremble and do not sin;
when you are on your beds,
search your hearts and be silent.
5 Offer the sacrifices of the righteous
and trust in the Lord.
It’s understandable that distress leads to anxiety - but it doesn’t have to does it?
Why should I find satisfaction in God?
So Andrew, if we’re feeling tired. How can we get a good night’s sleep?