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Fatally Deluded About Sleep

Friday, February 3, 2023

There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death. Prov. 14:12, NIV.

Perhaps you may have what appear to be good reasons for your current way of life. You may even believe that none of the questionable things you do will have lasting effects, or that nothing bad can happen to you.

That’s the way it is with delusions—those pieces of fiction we choose to believe. Often they are fatal—not only to our life now, but also for eternity.

Ellen G. White once wrote: “We are surrounded with temptations [delusions] so disguised that they allure while they taint and corrupt the soul. Satan varies his enticements to suit different minds; and he takes advantage of every circumstance to make his plans for a soul’s destruction successful” (Review and Herald, Nov. 9, 1886).

And one of the delusions that we talk about in our book Toxic Trends is that it doesn’t matter how much sleep you miss. But here are the facts:

Even one night of shortened sleep can produce adverse effects. People will briefly rise to meet the demands of an occasion, such as playing tennis or giving a speech, but mental concentration, flexibility, and creativity suffer. Two nights of skimpy sleep will cripple rote functioning. During laboratory tests sleep-deprived subjects have trouble adding columns of figures or doing simple repetitive tasks like hitting buttons in a prescribed pattern.

Stanford researcher William Dement’s studies show that if you miss sleep one night, your body keeps a record of the “sleep debt.” If the debt isn’t paid back soon, you’ll start nodding off during the day.

“We don’t tend to have a good handle on our amount of sleep debt. So when we finally go bankrupt it happens fast,” Dement says. “People can go from feeling wide awake to falling asleep in five seconds. If you are behind the wheel of a car, you’re dead.”

Are you getting enough sleep? 
  • Are you chronically drowsy?
  • Do you lack energy?
  • Do you need an alarm to wake up in the morning?
  • Do you fall asleep within five minutes?
  • Do you nap at will?
If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then you are probably short on sleep.

Avoid the “toxic trend” of too little sleep. Set limits on your working hours and get seven or eight hours of sleep at a regular time each day.

Used by permission of Health Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.

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