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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Do you sleep?

Does a mother need to be told she needs sleep?--sometimes we all do. Especially when we get a real case of "do-itis".

I found this wonderful sage advice while printing out the 4th reader of the Alternate McGuffey readers from Dollar Homeschool.

Lesson 43--Necessity of Sleep
If you are to work well, you must sleep well. If you are to keep your health, and strength, and youth--to carry your powers of work with you to the last--you must sedulously pay court to your pillow. It will commonly be found that the men who carry their years lightly are men who possess the faculty of sleeping at will.
If you have much work to do, you must not account time spent in sleep to be time lost. It is time gained. It is an essential part of the duty of the day. I had once and old servant who used to say, "Well, I have done my work--now I'll get my sleeping done." Sleeping was, in her philosophy, a thing to be done--not in a passive state, but as an active part of her duty.
And every workman should so consider it. Let him sleep in his bed, if he can, at proper hours of the night; if not, let him sleep at any odd time, when nature invites him to rest himself. If we do not play tricks with ourselves, if we work hard without overworking ourselves, sleep will rarely be coy to us; we can sleep in almost any place. 
As a general rule, it may be said that busy men are better sleepers than idlers, and that mental labor contributes more to sound sleep than bodily fatigue. I believe that only mere novices in work are kept awake by the thought of it. 
Experienced workmen acquire a habit of shaking off its thoughts when they will. If there is one thing in life for which I am profoundly thankful to the Giver of all good, it is for the gift of sleep. 
I have found this advice to be so very true! I have developed a habit over the last 25 years of taking a rest in the afternoons. This is so very important when dealing with the sorts things I must in my home, raising my 15 children. I am to be on call at any moment throughout the day--whether from my dear husband or from an infant child. This means constant alertness and diligence. Rarely do I allow my guard to be down--even on weekends or during times of vacation.

My race is one more one of the marathon--I must space my energy out in order to last and finish. This is why a daily time is necessary where I can put it all out of my mind--just as the writer above suggests.

I wasn't able to block out all of the other thoughts when I first began, but I also incorporated a daily Bible reading just before I went to sleep, and this caused me to gaze upward and place my cares on God, so that my rest was peaceful and I fell asleep quickly afterwards.

I have found that even 30 minutes of this sort of sleep will cause me to be cheerful and life-giving to my family until I go to bed at night--and then, even though my sleep may be interrupted due to various needs on the part of my children, I am still able to feel rested and on top of things.

During those months just after bringing home a newborn infant, I have also learned to sleep pretty much anywhere, at any time, in any position. This ability has been such a great help to me. In those times, whenever the baby is nursing and contented at my breast, and the children are all safely engaged in front of me, I have often snatched a few winks--this was to keep my sanity.

Afraid to take an afternoon nap because of all that has to be done? Consider these words:
"Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep." (Psalm 127:1-2)


  1. Thank you for sharing this post. I experienced 6 months with no sleep. I am in full agreement with this advice. Sleep is a gift from God. He tells us we will lie down in peace and our sleep will be sweet. He gives His beloved sleep. He cares about it.