Rest is so important that it was embedded into God's moral law. "8 Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.9 Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work:10 But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it." Exodus 20:8-11
At the conclusion of creation, God blessed and sanctified the seventh-day Sabbath as a day of rest for his created beings, therefore rest must be taken very seriously for the sustaining of life and vigor. As you go throughout the bible, you see that rest was given to mankind, to animals, and even the land- " But the seventh year thou shalt let it rest and lie still; that the poor of thy people may eat: and what they leave the beasts of the field shall eat. In like manner thou shalt deal with thy vineyard, and with thy oliveyard." Exodus 23:11. Not only do our bodies need weekly rest but also daily rest, "And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.” Genesis 1:5
Why is rest so important? On the surface, we are all familiar with the fact that rest is necessary because one is tired. However, rest is actually a matter of life and death, if not taken properly. Rest is one of the most basic healers known. When you are feeling sick, what does the body first want to do? Rest. When you go to the hospital, no matter the ailment, where do they put you? On a bed, to rest. The "go-go attitude," so common to Western civilization, leads many to nervous breakdowns. They simply did not take the time to rest. It was an objectionable word in their thinking. But such an imbalanced pattern of living crowds out thoughts of God and eternal life. And discouragement and despair begins to crowd in." (Ferrell, 2008) The majority of ailments are due to stress which simultaneously produces a lack of rest.
"Many agitated people on the brink of a psychotic break suffer from severe insomnia." (Golla, 1937). God has told us, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Matt. 11:28
Rest is not merely sleep, but also a change in pace, activity, routine and environment. A time where the perplexing activities of the day are set aside and outdoor recreation is embraced. Recreation is not to be confused with foolish amusement, as this taxes the brain unnecessarily and provides no real rest and relaxation. "All true recreation is re-creative; it genuinely refreshes, draws us closer to God and strengthens us for the better performance of our daily duties." (Ferrell, 2008)
ILL EFFECTS OF A LACK OF PROPER REST:
The body never enters into REM(Rapid Eye Movement) sleep, where the muscles are in their optimal relaxation phase and dreaming occurs. Research shows people that do not enter REM sleep wake irritable and tired. Prolonged REM deprivation leads to sleeping aids that affect the body negatively and actually worsens the condition.
After only a few hours of sleep loss, the body begins experiencing momentary lapses of split second sleep, called micro-sleep. This is similar to real sleep and is noted by drooping eyelids, slowed heart rate, and periods of blankness. If driving, this is fatal.
Can lead to serious health problems(heart disease, heart attack & failure, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, stroke and diabetes.)
Ages skin rapidly
Impairs concentration and judgment
HOW TO BENEFIT FROM PROPER REST:
Sleep on an empty stomach. Allow all foods to be digested (typically 4hrs after a meal). The work of digestion should not be carried into the sleeping hours.
Go to bed early at the same time every night and wake up early at the same time every morning
Do physical labour and use your muscles during the day to receive the greatest benefit from rest (Ecc 5:12)
Ensure that there is a current of fresh air flowing through the sleeping room. Oxygen intake is the important part of sleep rejuvenation.
While laying in bed before retiring, think cheerful thoughts of God and heaven and pray for yourself and loved ones.
FOR THE INSOMNIAC - NATURAL WAYS TO INDUCE SLEEP
Add calcium to your diet
Add pantothenic acid, a vitamin B complex, to your diet
Hops, Chamomile, and Catnip tea
Lady's slipper, Yarrow, and mullein teas.
"All who are under the training of God need the quiet hour for communion with their hearts, with nature and with God.. When every other voice is hushed, and in quietness we wait before Him , the silence of the soul makes more distinct the voice of God, He bids us, "Be still and know that I am God." ...Amidst the hurrying throng, and the strain of life's intense activities, he who is thus refreshed, will be surrounded with an atmosphere of light and peace." - The Ministry of Healing, page 58.
Barker, K. L., & Burdick, D. W. (2002). Zondervan KJV study Bible: King James Version. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
Ferrell, V., & Cherne, H. M. (2008). Natural remedies encyclopedia: Topically arranged over 11,000 simple, practical, easy-to-use home remedies for over 730 diseases plus 234 helpful illustrations. Altamont, TN: Harvestime Books.
Golla, F. L. (1937). Archives of neurology and psychiatry. Westminster, U.K.: London County Council.
White, E. G. (1942). The Ministry of Healing. Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press Pub. Association.