The beauty of slumber (By MARY VALAI)
What is the beauty of sleep?
Has it ever dawned on you how it would feel to remain awake 24 hours of each day of your life? To have your mind, body and senses in a continuous state of activity from one day to the next??
We were created wonderfully and fearfully by the almighty. He, in His Infinite Wisdom knew that, like all other aspects of our lives, rest, and in its most relaxing state sleep, was essential for a number of purposes, some of which I would like to share with those of you reading this piece.
Lack of sleep?
Have you ever woken up in the morning and gone about your daily activities feeling all grumpy and short-tempered, inclined to be curt and waspish to all those you come across when ordinarily that would not be the case? The old adage “My nerves are shot to hell this morning” would apply here due to the fact that you most probably did not get any or enough sleep the previous night. It happens to the majority of us once in a while.
Importance of sleep
SLEEP RESTORES THE NERVES and when one gets it adequately, the results clearly speak for themselves: one gets up feeling revitalized, rested and energetic enough to face life’s ups and downs.
The challenges, trials and tribulations that are so much a part of life sometimes need to be “set aside” in a manner of speaking so as to free our minds from the overwhelming task of having to find immediate solutions to all the problems that face us in our day-to-day lives. This “setting aside” is found in the beautiful sensation of sleep (and again, you have probably heard the cliché that goes “I’ll sleep over it…”) whereby we temporarily “forget” our troubles and wake up the following morning better equipped emotionally, physically and intellectually to tackle what is ahead of us.
Why, we might ask? Because our minds, above all else, are rested, renewed and refreshed as a result of getting enough sleep.
Beauty therapists recommend that one of the most important benefits of getting enough sleep is a fresh, glowing skin, an asset every woman yearns for because as one sleeps, the epidermal cells are replaced by new ones thereby replenishing the general texture and suppleness of the skin.
In temperate zones, certain animals adapted to those kind of climatic conditions hibernate or “go for a long sleep” during the cold winter months so as to store up energy reserves and heat necessary to their very survival.
Medical Practitioners advise patients who have suffered major bouts of illness or accidents to rest, this more often than not translating to sleep, so that a conducive environment is created for any drugs administered to work effectively toward achieving a cure for the malady/injury and the body is rested enough for the healing process to occur.
It is essential to note that the proverbial “Forty Winks” or occasional nap after lunch goes a long way in enhancing productivity at the work place, more especially in the corporate world.
As we sleep, we go into a subconscious state that enables us to dream and therefore relaxes our minds.
Dangers of not sleeping
I would like at this point to like to bring to your attention the not-so-pretty picture of what LACK OF SLEEP can sometimes do. Sometime back, and more specifically in the communist countries, sleep deprivation was employed as a form of torture to prisoners of war, etc. to extract certain kinds of information from them. These men and women would be kept awake forcibly for long periods of time until, at the very end of their tether DUE TO LACK OF SLEEP, would volunteer whatever information that was required of them to their captors and once more get the chance to sleep.
Individuals who suffer Insomnia and other sleep-deficient disorders are always advised to employ some relaxation techniques (such as taking some warm milk or a tepid bath say, an hour two before bedtime) to help them, to some extent, combat some of the milder disorders. However, and where necessary, professional therapy is recommended for the more serious and somewhat persistent ones.
I must point out here that it is the quality of sleep that one gets and in the right quantity
That matters. Too much of a good thing can be detrimental, and the same applies to sleep, although I will not delve into the disadvantages as that is a completely different subject and best left for another day.
It is good to note that “too much of something is poisonous”.The bible puts this so clearly” A little sleep,A little slumber,and poverty shall strike you like a bandit”.
In conclusion, I would like to share with you the sorry tale of a certain man that was relayed to us by one of my professors while I was still in college. This particular individual was accidentally shot in the head. Fortunately, he was not fatally wounded as a result but the bullet lodged itself into the area of the brain that controls sleep. Upon professional examination by his doctors, it was concluded that his chances of survival would be greatly reduced if they were to operate on him and remove the bullet.
It was therefore decided, albeit much anxiety from the individual, that the bullet remain in that area of his brain as its presence would not otherwise hinder other activities pertaining to his day-to-day life. It all came down to the choice of SAVING A LIFE. He went through intensive therapy to help him deal with this traumatic event in his life and consequently come to terms with it.
He however suffered one lasting effect- HE CANNOT SLEEP the way he was otherwise accustomed to as this particular sensation was stripped of him for the rest of his life. He tells his colleagues, family and friends that although he is thankful to be alive, he misses SLEEPING- a sensation that we sometimes take for granted!
We should therefore be thankful to the Creator for giving us the glorious, wonderful ability to SLEEP.
The above clearly depicts the beauty of sleep