Thursday, November 02, 2006

How Much Sleep Do You Need? AND Mental Clutter

I'm hitting my grading during today's conference period. The easiest way to keep up a blog when life gets busy is to quote others.

I am curious though... how much sleep do YOU need? Do share.

I met someone yesterday who sleeps less than 5 hours a night. Amy (mother of 5 kids under 9) over at says,

"I need lots of sleep. Through trial and error, I have discovered that nine hours is optimum sleep for me. This is difficult with the lifestyle I’ve chosen. I rarely get nine hours. I am busy. I work hard and sleep light.
Even though I’m tired, sometimes I lie awake at night. Amy Carmichael said that the wee hours are 'when all life’s molehills become mountains.' I make lists, sort mental clutter, and think about tomorrow’s agenda. I try not to worry. Worrying is sin. The good news is that exhaustion usually overtakes me before I can fall too headlong into this sin."

I appreciated that she was honest about needing 9. I'm discovering I'm pretty grumpy and slow to move when I don't sleep enough. Her Carmichael quote also jumped out at me. It is so easy to have mental clutter. I think we women struggle with this more than guys (or rather, in a different way). Anyway.. just related with this lady and her humble musings, though I'm Mrs. Butts, no kiddos yet, but 21 little darlings at school.

Cast your comments... how much sleep do you need? Do you get it? Should we try to arrange our lives where we get it?


Kari Plevan said...

Always an interesting topic! Since I really do feel like I need a good amount of sleep (usually 7 hours, preferably 8), I find this topic even more interesting. I sometimes feel less spiritual or self-sacrificing than people who get only 5 hours of sleep. But, I've kind of had to realize that I can arrange my schedule to get the sleep I need, and still be able to do the things I need to do.

For example: If I'm getting 8 hours of sleep because I stayed up until 11:00 and slept until 7, unwilling to get up to read the word or perhaps make breakfast for my husband, then that's not good. But if I can go to bed at 10:00 (which is hard to do!) and get up at 6:00, then my morning is more profitable, I'm not rushed and usually on time to work :)...and I still get the sleep I need!!!

I'm not a mother either, but I would say it is part of the sacrifice. But, if lack of sleep makes you snap at your children (or at co-workers or your husband or whoever) then you should probably get some more! It may mean waiting to do laundry or NOT staying up to watch your favorite TV show or letting the dirty pan sit in the sink so that you can get more sleep and better be able to serve the Lord and others the next day.

Ya know? Those are my thoughts....BUT I don't want to come off as someone who has this all down, because I often love sleep more than other things that I should love WAY more...i.e. time in the word, prayer, serving my husband, etc.

(sorry this was so long) :)

Mrs. Jamie Butts :) said...


Great comments. Thanks! I appreciate the insights.

I liked how you said, "It may mean waiting to do laundry or NOT staying up to watch your favorite TV show or letting the dirty pan sit in the sink so that you can get more sleep and better be able to serve the Lord and others the next day." For me that translates, "It may mean waiting until the weekend to grade papers so you're not at school until 7. It may mean not having the cutest classroom on the block. It may mean doing more simple lesson plans, but teaching with enthusiasm, rather than teaching extravagant lessons, but being miserable for exhaustion." I love learning how to manage my time, because my priorities have changed drastically since July 22nd. Sleep is vital, but I don't want to love sleep too much. As Dustin and I always discover... the key usually ends up being BALANCE. :) Here's to attempting 8 good hours of sleep tonight...

mindy said...

Living wisely in all things is something all christians should seek especially if it is an area that will lead you to be tempted by sin. Sleep is one of those areas. I know when I do not get enough sleep, I do not think clearly (usually because I have a headache from lack of sleep) and am tempted to complain about things, doubt that God will remain as He is, and try to do things my way, ultimately. The temptations for all of these things will easily be reduced if I get a proper amount of sleep. The temptations are still there even when I get a wise amount of sleep, but at least, I am able to have a clear and hopefully discerning mind with sleep. SO...I think that the area of sleep is another way that we are able to discipline ourselves in this life.

I truly enjoy these little conversations about practical living that you girls have been having. It is teaching me (as a single woman) a lot. I am still engaging even though I may not give imput a lot. Thanks, Jamie, Kari and others!

sarahdodson said...

I like about 8 or 9 hours. Any more and I just feel lazy. I thoroughly enjoy my rest. If I do (for some reason or another) do not have a good night's rest, I'm blessed with the privilege to be able to nap later in the day. Just another perk of being a homemaker. :)

Sarah Bebee said...

Sleep. Oh how i fight at times the Love of Sleep. I have settled into about 7 hours..sometimes less, sometimes a little more (weekends) and I too find with Sarah Dodson, if I sleep too much I end up being more lazy. I have heard this often in college, biology ect, that being consistent in your sleep (time, amount, ect) may be just as important as the amount. Your body gets used to your sleep pattern, and if you throw it can have a negative affect.

Feminine Appeal (Mahaney) touched on this in the chapter on self control (pg 71 for those who want to look):

"Sleep is a gift from God. Scripture says He grants sleep to those He loves (Ps. 127:2), and He makes our sleep sweet (Prov. 3:24). Sleep is a sweet restorer of physical strength. Thus we must make sure to get ENOUGH sleep daily so that our bodies are fully replenished with the strength they need. God has designed our bodies to require sleep and to cut corners may be an expression of pride -- an arrogant disregard for our GOD-GIVEN physical limitations. God is the only one who does not need sleep. He is the Creator and we are the created. Therefore we should humbly embrace our need for sleep -- however much we need.
Maybe our temptation related to sleep is not to get too little but to get to much. Prov 20:13 has some director words: "love not sleep, lest you come to poverty; open your eyes, and you will have plenty of bread". If we struggle with oerindulgence in the area of sleep, we need to utilize the little "self-control exercise" found in this verse."

Super long...but good stuff!

Cole said...

Hey girl!
Long time no comment :-P But I do pop in and read your blog every now and then.

Sleep.. ahhh I am to one of those people that need more than 8 hours to function. I wish I could go on 5 hours of sleep. Think of ALL the things one could do in that extra time. Althought I would have to say I am right on with sarah.. to much and you feel lazy the rest of the day and that is not good!!!

Well, have a beautifull weekend and enjoy it!