In our fast-paced culture, we do not save enough time to get adequate rest. This may not seem like a topic that fits in with a “pre-engaged” blog, but from personal experience and from watching others, I believe it is a topic that needs to be covered. Not everyone needs the same amount of sleep, but by the time you are an adult, you usually have a pretty good idea of how much you need to be your best. For some, eight hours a night is essential. For others, five or six hours a night is required. Eight hours of sleep has always been needed for me to function. While I can get by on six or seven, it starts to catch up with me by the end of the week. Eric can function fairly well on six or seven, but after a week of getting four or five hours a night, he is just not himself.
The bulk of our arguments happen when we are tired. We look forward to Friday and then when Friday comes, if we have stayed up late and risen early all week, we are too tired to enjoy our time together. There are several Friday nights I can recall getting into silly arguments only to wake up Saturday morning after a good night’s sleep having no idea why we were so upset. Lack of sleep affects every area of your life. A cranky spouse will put a damper on the mood of the home. Two cranky spouses can bring on a full scale war!
In addition to making your interactions with your spouse less than desirable, lack of sleep can affect your health. People who don’t get enough sleep tend to eat more and eat things that are not good for them. This will affect your weight and your health. When a person is not healthy, it affects their productivity and how their body feels. Sluggishness and lack of productivity affects how we feel about ourselves, which in turn affects our relationships with others. It all leads back to our relationships. We cannot neglect our basic needs and expect to be a good spouse, parent, co-worker, or friend. Lack of sleep can make the nicest person irritable and unapproachable. Lack of sleep can also cause depression and shorten your life span. Staying up late to get a little bit more done is not worth dealing with depression and risking your life. For the sake of yourself and those you love, sleep! You’ll feel better and they’ll enjoy being around you so much more!
There are obviously going to be times in life when less sleep is required. Sometimes school causes us to stay up late at certain times. When a new baby enters the picture, sleep will be hindered. These are exceptions to the rule, although I will say that it’s more important to find time to sleep during these times than to worry about keeping your house immaculate or over-committing to too many things outside of the home. Early on in your marriage, the honeymoon and forward, create and keep a habit of a good sleep schedule. Additionally, have a routine you do together before bed each night (Bible reading and prayer is a great ritual to start before bed) and then go to bed as close to the same time as possible. This will help ensure that you are getting the sleep your need, keep you on a similar schedule, and give you a chance to focus on each other at the end of each day.
What is preventing you from getting adequate sleep?