By Reverend Paul N Papas II

Times of refreshing can be as simple as splashing a little water on your face, soaking in a hot tub, going for a walk in fresh air, relaxing on vacation, or eating a good meal.

Your doctor and your mother always recommended getting at least eight hours of sleep each night. Everyone knows that without the proper amount of sleep the mind will be groggy the next day and as a result many more mistakes will be made. This means that you should get a full night’s rest before taking a test or take a little nap before driving a long distance in a car.

Scientists realize that sleep is not just a mental recharger, but is also important for the body as well. When a person sleeps, the body and mind are working just as hard as when the person is awake, correcting chemical imbalances, assuring proper blood sugar levels for the next day, and maintaining the memory.

Before electricity people would generally go to sleep when the sun set and arise with the sun, assuring that they got enough sleep to maintain a healthy mind and body. The light bulb has expanded the working day from 12 to 24 hours. It is becoming apparent that more and more people are sleep deprived. And with that deprivation, more and more scientists are realizing, there comes not only a mental deficiency, but also a physical deficiency.

The amount of sleep each person needs depends on many factors, including age. Infants generally require about 16 hours a day, while teenagers need about 9 hours on the average. For most adults, 7 to 8 hours a night appears to be the best amount of sleep, although some people may need as few as 5 hours or as many as 10 hours of sleep each day. Women in the first 3 months of pregnancy often need several more hours of sleep than usual.

The amount of sleep a person needs also increases if he or she has been deprived of sleep in previous days. Getting too little sleep creates a “sleep debt,” which is much like being overdrawn at a bank. Eventually your body will demand that the debt be repaid. We don’t seem to adapt to getting less sleep than we need; while we may get used to a sleep-depriving schedule, our judgment, reaction time, and other functions are still impaired.

People tend to sleep more lightly and for shorter time spans as they get older, although they generally need about the same amount of sleep as they needed in early adulthood. About half of all people over 65 have frequent sleeping problems, such as insomnia. This change may be a normal part of aging, or it may result from medical problems that are common in elderly people or from the medications and other treatments taken for those problems.

After an injury people need time to allow the body to rest and heal. Sometimes some physical therapy is required to regain strength or coordination. Some injuries require a period of hospitalization to heal the body or mind, or perhaps both.

In New England the harvest season is upon us where the fruits of the spring and summer labors are about to come to fruition. After the harvest, the land rests and then freezes in the winter, getting ready for a new planting season in the spring.

The idea of times of refreshing started in the beginning when the world was created in six days, then God rested on the seventh day to show us that we need time to refresh.

Whether you play for the Red Sox, softball at the local park, or work….you have a need to refresh for you body and mind to be ready for the next game or work day.

Lack of sleep can cause serious injuries and contribute to or exacerbate a variety of mental health issues. Simply put, your car won’t run without gas; and your body can’t function properly without water, food, and enough rest; and neither can your mind.

Take your times of refreshing as needed.

Reverend Paul N Papas II is a Pastoral Counselor with Narrow Path Ministries (MA and AZ) and Founder of the Family Renewal Center (AZ) http://www.NarrowPathMinistries.org and http://www.FamilyRenewalCenterAZ.org

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