A Christian Guide to Body Stewardship, Diet and Exercise

Chapter 4: Stress Management and Sleep 85 Cedarville University (CU) Counseling Services provides a variety of individual and small group therapies aimed at helping students with their emotional and spiritual needs. Although there is a waiting list for appointments, students at risk of self-harm can be seen right away. For more information, or to schedule an appoint, contact CU Counseling Services at: • http://www.cedarville.edu/Offices/Counseling-Services.aspx • counseling@cedarville.edu • (937) 766-7855 • SSC Rm 163 In addition to CU Counseling Services, other resources to consider for help include dorm resident directors and resident assistants, CU faculty and staff and local church leadership. Sleep As mentioned previously, the amount of sleep an individual gets on a regular basis plays an integral role in their ability to cope with and manage stress. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, only one third of U.S. adults are getting the recommended amount of sleep per night. Unfortunately, loss of sleep has been linked to many health problems and chronic diseases as well as motor vehicle crashes or errors leading to injury or death (CDC, 2020). Although the Bible does not prescribe a specific amount of sleep a person should be getting per night, it does stress the importance of sleep for good physical, mental and spiritual health. In fact, Genesis 2:2-3 says that God himself rested on the seventh day. Obviously, being omnipotent, the act of creation did not cause God to be tired nor did he need to rest. Instead, because man was made in God’s image, he used this opportunity to demonstrate the need for and importance of rest. Some theologians argue that the ability to sleep, or not sleep, may be a reflection of our faith, trust and obedience in God (BibleMesh, 2013). For example, Psalm 4:8 says that David was able to sleep soundly even amid his different trials as he knew his life and circumstances were secure in the Lord. Psalm 127:1-2 teaches us not to “put off “sleep because what ultimately happens in life is a result of God’s sovereignty and not the result of our own labor. Finally, Proverbs 3:24 says when we place our trust in God, and lean not on our own understanding, that when we lie down, we will not be afraid and our “sleep will be sweet”. There will undoubtedly be times in life when it is hard, if not impossible to sleep; however, frequent insomnia may be an indication that we need to worry less and trust God more.