What if We All Honored the Gift of Sleep?

A spiritual practice that could change the world

Mary Gallagher
Oct 18 · 5 min read
Photo by Sabri Tuzcu on Unsplash

I love sleep

It’s like a factory reset button. All the day’s input clogs up my operating system. Input, input, input. By evening my battery is drained and I'm running slow from everything I’ve downloaded and processed all day. Sleep clears my cache and cleans up my files so when I wake I’m refreshed — no lingering pages from yesterday slowing down my efforts to move forward.

Sleep is not a necessary evil for me — it’s a blessed ritual.

Sleep is God’s gift to us

I am reminded of the scripture in Lamentations that God’s mercies are new every morning. Sleep embodies this promise. It’s a mini-sabbath every day, and He’s ensured that we will (must) take it. Sleep is the level playing field for all humans — no one is above the need for sleep, no matter how rich or powerful or important one might be.

The need for sleep reduces us all to dependent creatures in need of a new start and refilling of strength each day.

I think one must be deprived of it for extended periods of time in order to value sleep. The first year of my son’s life was wrought with illness, hospital stays, and sleepless nights. My husband and I were beyond the walking dead of the average parent of a newborn. We were stretched to a point of exhaustion. The thought of another baby — after knowing what could go wrong — was enough to make us talk of vasectomies and how we would raise an only child.

Not everyone honors sleep

I spent some time in the corporate world where it seemed like the underlying company motto was “You can sleep when you die.” There were no parameters around working hours and the expectation was to be “on” all the time. It wasn’t uncommon to receive emails from colleagues during late-night hours or find my inbox flooded with e-mails that had come through in the wee hours of the morning while I was still sleeping.

A morning practice to honor sleep

I like to enter my day slowly, with intention and thoughtfulness of what lies ahead. With my cup of coffee, I reflect on what’s going on in my life and mind, writing down all the things that are bubbling to the surface so God and I can dissect them and process them. I do this in the form of morning pages, a practice promoted by artist and writer Julia Cameron as a way of clearing the mind and heart of lingering worries or ideas, capturing them on paper to make sense of or just simply store away.

So I savor the fresh kiss of God in the morning after His gift of renewing sleep.

I’m grateful that I’ve crafted a life where I can practice such soul care. I realize there are many who don’t get this luxury or choose to forsake it for chasing the wind, yet I wonder how different our society might be if everyone took time in the slow morning hours to practice gratitude for the gift of sleep — amongst other treasures of life.


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Mary Gallagher

Written by

I love the slow life, contemplation, creative expression, all things literacy. Faith writer and lover of all creatures. https://simplelifesimplefaith.com



Stories by Christian writers to encourage, entertain, and empower you in your faith, food, fitness, family, friendship, and fun.

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