I don’t know of a Bible verse that says, “Thou shalt get plenty of sleep,” but I believe there’s a lot of wisdom in Christians getting enough sleep. When I don’t, I’m a mess. Fortunately, most of the time I feel pretty rested. Not all the time, though. And Satan likes to take advantage of me when I’m groggy from lack of sleep.
Here are ten ways lack of sleep hinders my spiritual life:
1. I’m less joyful.
God wants us to be a joyful people (1 John 1:4). When I stay up way too late or don’t sleep well through the night, joy is a real challenge for me. I tend to be more negative and unhappy in general. I often even feel downright depressed.
2. I worry more.
Jesus taught not to be consumed with worry (Matt. 6:25-34). When I’m exhausted from lack of sleep, I find it very difficult not to worry. I get anxious about everything from my responsibilities to my social interactions to my failures, and so on.
3. I’m more argumentative.
Paul wrote, “Do all things without grumbling or disputing” (Phil. 2:14). If you’re like me, when you’re tired you tend to argue about trivial things with your spouse and kids, and you make mountains out of molehills.
4. I’m less patient.
The very first characteristic of love listed in the famous love chapter, 1 Corinthians 13, is patience. Love is patient. Sleepy people aren’t. At least that’s true for me. I get easily irritated and frustrated and am extra sensitive to any perceived offense that comes my way.
5. I have less will power to resist temptation.
God commands us to flee from sin (1 Tim. 6:11) and to eliminate the desire to sin (Jas. 1:14-15). When my mind and body feel sluggish from lack of sleep, I find the struggle against temptation to be much more difficult.
In the next article I post, I’ll list the other five ways lack of sleep hinders my spiritual life. In the meantime, ask yourself this question: does lack of sleep affect you like it does me? Share your thoughts below.