Why a “biblical” perspective of sleep?
Sleep was God’s idea. The logical conclusion for believers is to look to the source or the “owner’s manual” when dealing with sleep issues.
How do the scriptures help with insomnia?
When you need help with insomnia probably the last place you would consider looking for answers is the bible. So just how can a Christian worldview help you with insomnia and sleep problems? The scriptures do not give us any formulas or recipes to getting a good night's sleep. The scriptures place the priority on God--not sleep. The apostle Paul states: "....everything comes from Him. He is the first One who was raised from the dead. So in all things Jesus has first place" (Col. 1:18). As we surrender and give God "first place" the in our lives everything else will fall into perspective—including sleep. We see a similar principle working in our relationships, finances and personal lives. The key is yielding control of your life over to the One who created you and your need for sleep in the first place.
One way in which a Christian worldview helps with insomnia is with many of the things that can rob us from sleep. Fear, worry, regret and loneliness can race through our minds and rob us of precious rest as we lay our heads on our pillows. As we release control of our lives through prayer, meditation and practicing God's presence we can experience victory over these potential hindrances to sleep. Nurturing this ability to trust God as one sleeps is discussed in the "calm heart" section of the book.
Coming from a different background from sleep medicine, what motivated you to write a book about sleep deprivation and insomnia from a biblical perspective?
In one sense, I guess you could say I'm a fellow struggler with insomnia and sleep deprivation. As a surgeon, I never know when I may be called to go without rest for extended periods of time. Therefore, rest has become a precious commodity and focus for most of my adult life. As I began to tackle this problem, I found virtually no instruction from a biblical perspective on these issues.
How does Surrendered Sleep Help with Sleep Apnea?
First of all this work has no intent to undermine medicine but rather complement it by exploring the spiritual component of sleep. At first glance, one would think that the bible would not offer any specific help with sleep apnea. Although the scriptures do not directly address the issue, they help with sleep apnea by dealing with its root causes. Approximately 90% of all cases of obstructive sleep apnea are caused by obesity. The wise heart section discusses many proactive measures that one can take to help prevent weight gain. Some of these measures include diet, exercise and the discipline of self-control. Surrendered Sleep focuses on providing a biblical framework for those suffering with sleep disorders such as sleep apnea.
The bible also helps with sleep apnea by giving us hope. Sometimes, there are no answers to why we experience insomnia and sleep disorders. The scriptures remind us that heaven is just around the corner. Someday our frail corruptible bodies will be changed into incorruptible ones--no longer suffering from the constraints of our earthly bodies. Living in the expectation of heaven can transform our perspective of our suffering and help us to endure or sleep issues.