17 October 2006

Sleep is Spiritual

OK, so I’m sleeping more, believing that’s the most spiritual thing I can be doing in the moment. What does that mean? It means I’m trying to be less addicted to adrenaline by giving my body and brain time to rest and recover from life. It means releasing control of the day to God and letting God create in me a hunger for him. It means being a wise steward of my physical being with which my spiritual being always is influenced.

Here’s the essence of what Arch taught. Basically, we sleep in 90 minute cycles. In the first several cycles during a night, the vast majority is for the physical recovery of the body during what’s called ‘non-REM’ sleep. Barely a few minutes of the 90 minute cycle is devoted to REM (rapid eye movement) or dream sleep, where the brain ‘defrags’ information from the day. It is a physical bio-chemical process that only occurs at the end of the 90 minute cycle. However, what’s significant, is that as the cycles proceed, the non-REM sleep decreases, while the REM sleep increases. The last 90 minute cycle of 9 hours of sleep can have anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes of REM sleep—and is the most significant healing/recovery time of the whole night!

So, at least for the last 3 weeks I’ve been getting to bed by 9.00 or 10.00pm, and instead of getting up at 3.30am (though I still wake up at that time!), I’m staying in bed until 5.30 or 6.00 and getting one or two extra sleep cycles in (depending on my bedtime).

For this time in my life, rather than ‘activity’, sleep is the most spiritual thing I can do. It reminds me of a statement I once heard, "There’s always enough time in a day to do what God asks us to do."

1 comment:

Andi (Andrea) said...

Oh how I wish I could guarantee the amount of sleep I get! WIth young children, I guess that's a long ways off?
I found this information about sleep quite interesting. Espeially about the 90 minute cycles. I wonder how apnea or constant waking gets into the equation.