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You need more sleep (Fitness #3)

fitness Sep 28, 2020

Next time you’re somewhere where they’re playing live music— a church, a club, a reception, wherever— take a look at the drums. In my opinion, no musician hustles on stage more than the drummer.


Drummers keep the rhythm, they physically push the limits, and they create a platform on which the rest of the band can play their music.

But (and this is important….

👉 Music only happens because of the moments of rest.

Watch the drummer next time. They’re “not” playing more than they “are” playing. The rests are as important as they hits.

In fact, without the proper pauses, you have nothing more than noise. Rhythm only happens because of the acquired skilling of maintaining a beat of times ON with a definite cadence of times OFF.

In the same way that good music depends on the times when the instruments are NOT being played, so also does life depend on the times when we’re off. Furthermore, this isn’t just a new craze in business books or management fads. This is a principle that goes all the way back to Creation.

If you’re like me, you consider your day to begin when you wake up in the morning. Or, if you stayed up to midnight, you may look at your watch and think, “Oh, gee… it’s already tomorrow… a new day. I’ve got to get in bed.”

We’ve programmed ourselves to think our days as daylight and then nighttime. We get up and start the day; we got to bed and end it.

Turns out, that’s backwards.

If you go all the way back to the beginning of the Bible, back to the very first page, you find the creation story. There, we read a refrain over and over and over again. It’s so common that you may have never noticed it before. I guarantee you, though, once you see it, you’ll never forget it.

Here it is: “There was evening and then morning, the _________ day.”

We find it six times (Genesis 1:5,8,13,19,23,31).

In other words, in God’s rhythm of creation, days began with dark, not light. They began with the moon in the sky, not the sun. They began with sleep, not work. They began with rest, not activity.

That’s the rhythm of creation.

And, the rhythm of creation ALSO included a seventh day of complete rest. That is, the cadence of creation is…

🎧 6 and 1

🎧 6 and 1

🎧 6 and 1

🎧 6 and 1

Though we often push through this seventh day, it’s actually a gift— a pause, a sacred rest.

There’s an example of all of this in the New Testament. Fast forward a few thousand years to the Cross. They removed Jesus from the Cross before sundown on Friday, the day He was executed, because the Saturday was the Sabbath. Yet the Sabbath didn’t begin on Saturday morning- or even at midnight. The Sabbath began at sundown, around 6pm (John 19:31).

Since the beginning, the new day began as soon as the sun dropped. That was the sign of a new day… the rest.

And on the seventh day, there was a complete reset— a total evening and morning (followed by an evening) of rest.

Let me show you something else that I hadn’t noticed before I began diving into this “rest” thing: when people were created.

The Genesis story shows us that God created Adam at the end of Day 6. By the time the first man is scooped and formed from the dirt, God has been busy making all the animals that fill the earth (see Genesis 1:24). They were made on the same day, much earlier. Adam was created last, at the END of the 6th day.

Then came the seventh day…

Which begins with evening (rest)…

Which is followed by morning (a complete 12 hours of daylight in which something new happens, something that’s never been done before… a loonnngggggg pause)…

Which is followed by the beginning of the eighth day which, of course, begins with evening.

In other words, the first approximately 36-plus hours that Adam was around were full of rest.

Here’s how it applies to life, now…

First, you need concentrated time off— from mental work, from exercise, from everything.

Pastor Rick Warren used to say it like this:

“Everyone needs a daily diversion,” that is, some sort of exercise or break.

He continued, “Everyone also needs a weekly withdrawal.” That is, everyone needs that Creation-rhythm day off.

He concluded, “And, we all need an annual abandonment,” that is, a time when the mobile phones, devices, and connectivity absolutely go off and we move into the deeper rest of the soul…

Here it is again:

* Daily diversion
* Weekly withdrawal
* Annual abandonment

Let’s add another layer to that…

This ALSO means that you need more sleep. A lot more of it.

Sleep is when your body rebuilds AND when your MIND goes to rest and begins processing and mending and “figuring out” the stuff from your day. It’s when you reset- completely.

Turns out, a lot of people AREN’T doing a daily- or even weekly reset.

This one is huge. So big, in fact, that business books are being written- not about mission or vision or the other things we typically attribute to biz- about getting more sleep. And about naps.


Because in the same way your computer has to restart and recalibrate, so also do you.

There are 5 stages of sleep. Most people NEVER get out of that first bit where you’re halfway asleep, halfway awake. That place where dreams and real life blur. That place where you keep waking up.

When you don’t get enough rest, it flips things backwards. You start running on adrenalin at night (can’t sleep) and you begin crashing during the day.

Your body needs rest when it’s awake, too- space when you’re not looking at your phone, occupying every minute. When’s the last time you day-dreamed? Same thing. It’s a time when your mind wanders, makes the connections you need, and it’s thing.

Here’s the kicker.

Sleepologists studied people who lacked sleep and discovered that if you get less than 8 hours for 2 weeks in a row, you’re operating at the same diminished capacity you would if you had too much to drink. Except you haven’t. And it’s going on all day, every day.

Think about it.

If you’ve own a cell phone (I know, the technical name is mobile phone, now, and everybody has one), you’ve probably had unresolvable issues with it, called tech support, and then heard them tell you something like, “Alright, do this for me. Let’s perform something called a hard reset. We’re going to completely power the thing down, wait a few moments, and then start it back up.”

They always promise something that seems absurd for such a simple task as turning the phone off: “That should fix it.”

Generally, they’re right. It does.

I’ve seen this with virtually all of my electronic devices. I have a huge 55” TV in my living room. Tied to my Apple TV, I leave it on all the time. I play music from it and let the screen-saver run in the background… 24 hours a day.

About once a week, though, the sound just stops working. Everything goes silent.

It flustered me the first time I discovered this phenomena. I sat down, pizza in hand, ready to enjoy a movie at the end of a long week of work-travel with my compadres Jim Bob & Ernie. I left the television “on” the entire time we were gone, of course.

Imagine my un-delight when I selected a movie from my Wish List, settled back to enjoy, and watched the opening bumper begin to play… in complete silence. I decided if the power-off-WAIT-power-on routine was good enough for the tiny phone it was probably good enough for the sound function of my over-sized TV.

Worked like a charm.

Now, without fail, the occasional quiet spell phases-me-not. I take it in stride. I power everything off, pause, re-power it, and everything instantly works again. Like new. The temporary pause creates space where the machine performs at max output once again.

I restart my computer at least once a week, now. And I regularly turn the phone completely off. When I do, they work well. When I don’t, they just don’t. Until I do a hard reset, that is.

Now, here’s where it fits in with US…

… The more trips I make around the sun the more I realize we’re exactly like those machines. In order to “work right” we’ve got to pause, too.

That is, you’ve got to power off…

… and that’s where fun comes in….



Look at the Healthy Hustle class for more info about rest + recovery in general = 


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