On Sleepiness and Alertness

“You’re going to sleep your life away,” said everyone’s mother sometime.

John Climacus put it this way, “Excessive sleep is a bad companion, stealing half a lifetime or more from a lazy man.”

Our bodies require sufficient sleep for optimum health. Say 7-8 hours for an adult. Maybe 9-10 for a child. Evidently teenage boys need 16 speaking from my experience (but I probably exaggerate–slightly). Our cells renew themselves and our systems filter out toxins during sleep.

With sufficient, yet not too much, sleep, we should rise refreshed and ready for the day. Well, maybe sufficient sleep plus a cup of coffee.

When we fall asleep during church, or prayer and meditation, or our studies, or while driving, those all signal a problem.

Perhaps we are not getting enough sleep.

Perhaps our nutrition is lacking. We eat too much sugar (easily done), or heavy meal before sleep.

Or try to sleep after an hour on our iPad checking the latest cat videos.

On the other hand, maybe it’s our attitude. We convince ourselves that we can’t wake up. So, we don’t.

Or, we’re just lazy without motivation or care.

Opposite sleepiness we find alertness. The person who is awake, attentive, aware.

John says that alertness keeps the mind clean. It is a fisher of thoughts and in the quiet of the night the vigilant can easily observe and catch them.

Life is balance. We balance good sleep and alertness in a rhythm of our days.

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