Proper Rest

by Celeste Lee

In God's Plan, we have already studied sunshine, air, exercise and trust. In this lesson the benefits of rest or sleep will be studied. When a person exercises in the open air and sunshine the natural result will be fatigue. The cells in the body can not keep up their work indefinitely without rest. When one exercises, energy is used faster than it is restored; tissues are broken down faster than they are rebuilt; and poisons are formed faster than they can be eliminated. The body then needs rest to restore its cells, tissues, and organs to renewed vigor.


Rest necessary to restore vigor to body




During sleep the body is repaired. All its activities lessen,—less heat is produced, the breathing is slower, the heart beats more slowly, digestion is lessened, the nerves and muscles are relaxed. The entire system is slowed down and the body building cells carry on their recuperative work. "They who sleep give nature time to build up and repair the weary waste of the organism." Medical Ministry, p. 80. "Sleep, nature's sweet restorer, invigorates the weary body, and prepares it for the next days duties." 1 Testimonies, p. 395. Thus we understand that rest or sleep is essential for the system to be able to continue in its functions and also to build up the body.


Body repaired during sleep




There are several guidelines on how one should sleep to receive the greatest benefit.

1) Have regular hours for sleep. By sleeping at regular hours every night, the health, spirits, memory and the disposition are improved. Irregular hours of sleeping cause the brain forces to be sapped.

2) Have an abundant supply of fresh air during sleep. Sore throats, lung diseases and liver disorders occur when there is not a continuous supply of fresh air during sleep. Also, one awakens feeling exhausted and feverish from the lack of oxygen. But, when there is a supply of fresh air while sleeping, a sound, sweet sleep is induced.

3) The stomach should have its work all done that it may rest as well as the other organs while sleeping. When the stomach is not empty before sleep the digestive process continues during the sleeping hours and this results in unpleasant dreams. Since the stomach has worked while you were sleeping you awake unrefreshed in the morning and with little desire for a hearty breakfast.

4) Early to bed and early to rise. The greatest amount of restoration is done to the body during deep sleep. Studies show that, due to the "circadian rhythm", which is regulated by the sun's rays, the deepest sleep occurs between 9 p.m. and 12 a.m.


Guidelines to receive the most benefit from rest




"Nature will restore their vigor and strength in their sleeping hours, if her laws are not violated." Healthful Living, p. 69. When a person works two hours longer in the day than is best, the rest that the body needs is not received. Two hours of overwork plus two hours of lost sleep equals four hours of excess for the system. Also, the work done after normal work time is more taxing on the system and is most likely to be inferior in quality and quantity. In this way we are violating the laws of nature and the system is not fully restored to vigor and strength. The amount of sleep needed may vary according to the individual needs.


Overwork double loss to system




When the body is sick in any way, it requires plenty of rest to heal. " She (patient) must have quiet and undisturbed rest." Healthful Living, p. 225. Mrs. White also tells us that the practice of sitting all night with the sick to watch them, is disturbing to their rest. This is especially true when two people stay with the patient and talk. She recommends that the caretaker be in another room, close to the patient, and respond to any calls for help. This would allow the patient to sleep undisturbed.


Needed for healing




Often when one is sick it is hard to fall asleep. This is where the other remedies that have been studied in God's Plan are important. When enough exercise is received in the open air and sunshine, combined with a simple trust in God, sleep will be a natural occurrence. This is why all of God's Plan must be followed when restoring health to an individual.


Inability to sleep




If there is still insomnia there are several natural ways that sleep may be induced. A neutral bath at a temperature of 94-97 degrees aids in reducing congestion of the brain and spinal cord. This frequently accompanies insomnia. When a person is very tired, nervous and worn out a fomentation (see appendix) to the spine will produce sleep. This should be applied very warm, not hot, for 20 to 30 minutes. The fomentation may also be given over the liver and stomach as well as the spine. Also, the following herbs are effective in producing sleep: Lady's slipper, catnip, skullcap and especially hops. Seep one teaspoon of any of these in one cup of boiling water for twenty minutes. Drink it when it is hot. These herbs are a tonic for the entire system and have no side effects as do sleeping pills. For some, a soothing massage releases the body of tension allowing a beneficial rest. Remember that hot and cold treatments are stimulating to the system and should not be used when trying to induce sleep.


Ways to obtain relief from insomnia




"Tired nerves need rest and quiet instead of stimulation and overwork. Nature needs time to recuperate her exhausted energies." Ministry of Healing, p. 326. There is a treatment especially beneficial for nervous exhaustion. This is called the Wet Sheet Pack. It has three stages of effects on the system. The first is the cooling stage, 5-12 minutes, the body heat is removed by evaporation, this also reduces fevers. The second is the neutral stage, when the sheet is slightly warmer than the skin temperature—the amount of blood is lessened in the brain and sleep is the result. The third stage is the heating stage when sweating results in drawing blood from the congested organs. This treatment should not be used on someone with diabetes, severe colds, or one who is feeble or has skin eruptions.


Treatment for nervous exhaustion




The patient must be warm. Give the patient a hot foot bath for ten minutes, with a cold compress to the head. Have the patient void. Place the sheet in water that is 60-70 degrees and then wring it out. Wrap the patient in the sheet. They should be lying on a dry bed. Cover them with a blanket, allowing no air to reach the sheet. Leave for as long as necessary to obtain the desired result. This works great.

The combination of each part of God's Plan is necessary for the restoration of health to the body. May "every person have a knowledge of nature's remedial agencies and how to apply them. It is essential both to understand the principles involved in the treatment of the sick and to have a practical training that will enable one rightly to use this knowledge." Ministry of Healing, p. 127. May the knowledge learned in this lesson help all to fulfill the directions given in the statement above.



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