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The Mystery of Sleep

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This business of sleep and individual requirements is a fascinating one. Sleep, itself, is intriguing and somewhat mysterious. What happens when we sleep? What is our mind doing? Whence come those dreams? What occurs within our consciousness? Why is it that some people seem to need less sleep than do others? How does sleep itself replenish our energy, restock our cells, sharpen our sight and our hearing? What about naps? Do they help us sleep at night, or do they hinder our sleeping?

I’ve stood over sleeping children–or sleeping adults, for that matter–and as I watched them, I wondered about the phenomenon of sleep. It’s a bit mysterious, and though the person is there physically, their mind has traveled elsewhere.

I enjoy sleeping, but I have never been one to sleep very long hours, and observing my own children and grandchildren, the traits of sleeping either short or long amounts seem to be genetically engineered. Then there is the question of naps. Although throughout my lifetime, I have not always done so, I really like the idea of taking naps. When I was younger and rearing a family and very involved in the churches that Jerry pastored, I made it a habit to take a nap on Sunday afternoon. What a treat that was!

Now, I take more naps than I used to, although I don’t nap every day. It’s such a pleasure to stretch out on the couch and catch a few winks. I believe a short nap of 5 to 10 minutes helps me, but I prefer 30 to 45 minutes.

This morning I came across this interesting article which is suggesting the installation of “napping-spots” in workplaces. You may read the entire article here. Interesting.

I’ve come up with a short list of sleeping terms, certainly not an exhaustive one. Please add any you think of, along with your views on sleeping. Do you sleep little (5-6 hours or less), a lot, nap, sleep well, sleep poorly? Any of you suffer from insomnia? I rarely do, but I’m a restless sleeper who wiggles, twists and turns and wakes up a lot.

…sleep tight, sleep in, sleep out, sleep over, shut-eye, 40 winks, sleep like a log, snooze, nod-off, slumber, siesta…

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My devotional blog is here. 

By Shirley Buxton

Still full of life and ready to be on the move, Shirley at 83 years old feels blessed to have lots of energy and to be full of optimism. She was married to Jerry for 63 years, and grieves yet at his death in August of 2019. They have 4 children, 13 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren...all beautiful and highly intelligent--of course. :)

15 replies on “The Mystery of Sleep”

Tried earplugs… *sighs*
tried nasal strips *sighs again*
tried rolling him over onto his side *third sigh*
tried gentle digs in the ribs *rolls eyes*


Very interesting article, but I would find it hard to nap in the workplace; knowing it would not be long and worrying that I might not wake up in time to get back to my post! But the whole subject of sleep is very interesting. Like the article, I probably only get 6.9 hours per night. But my sleep is always broken up. I usually wake up every 2 hours or so. Thus, I never feel totally rested in the morning. I’m too light of a sleeper, I guess. The last time I slept through the night was last year. We had just returned from a trip to Chicago. Since flying makes me nervous, I was so relieved to be home in my own bed, that I slept all the way through. A rare occurrence for me! I felt so refreshed the next day. Some sleeping terms we use: I go night night or beddy bye. Or, I’m going to see the back of my eyelids.
Good article. Thanks for sharing.


REBECCA, you have hit upon a desirable way to drift off to sleep. You are a wise woman. Sometimes when I’m busy with taxing projects, my mind won’t stop…even though I command it to do so often. Thinking on God and His glorious ways is the best.

BRENDA, you are the “Game Queen.” You’re so smart, you’re scary. 🙂

DAFFY, I’m not really a “night-owl,” either, but if I’m around lots of activity, I’m fine when it gets late. Otherwise, I prefer to go to bed fairly early, and get up early. Sorry about the snoring hubby. Tried earplugs?

CAROL, the story of Eutychus is a funny one. I’ve been in a boring service or two, seen people nodding off, but can’t recall anybody ever falling out the window. That’ll wake you up…unless you die.

JANA, I’ve heard parents say to their children who didn’t want to nap: “Wish I could take your place. Try me. Offer to send me off to bed!”


Our kids frequently feel the “sandman” in their eyes and they quickly go “meemees.” I have no idea where that came from.

I have often said it is amazing what a nap does for a child’s disposition, so why don’t more grouchy adults take naps? 🙂


“Sawing logs” and “going to the land of Nod” are 2 more expressions I use concerning sleep. For my adult life at least, I’ve always been a light sleeper. I can do pretty good on 6 hours of sleep, but by the time 11 p.m. rolls around, I’m usually pretty tired. The Bible says that “he giveth his beloved sleep”, but beware of falling asleep in church. Remember Eutychus in the book of Acts?


I gave up sleeping when my husband started snoring! :o)
Joking aside this is a very thought provoking entry, it’s something can be twinned with dreams, something which I find fascinating.
I personally go for ‘shut-eye’, I sleep about 8 hours but I have to go to bed around 10 pm, I’m no party animal!


My mother used to say, “Sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite!”

Other sleepy words….land of Nod, doze off, slumber, slumber party (which probably is a misnomer since not much slumber goes on!},
oversleep, go night- night (or go nighty-night),
go to bed, call it a night, catch some zzz’s, sawing logs, beddy-bye, sweet dreams, la-la land, dreamland, never-never land, sleepy head, sleeper (children’s footed pajamas), Sleeping Beauty, beauty sleep, sleeping bag, sleeping porch,
sleepwalker, now I lay me down to sleep, lay my head to rest, as soon as my head hit the pillow… looks like the list could go on and on

Aren’t words interesting?


I LOVE to sleep! It’s my favorite coping mechanism. I can’t sleep in the day, so naps aren’t an option, but I usually sleep soundly for seven or eight hours each night.

I pray every night, and I used to lie awake for hours worrying and fretting; however, I’ve recently committed to limiting my evening prayers to thanksgiving and praise. This is beneficial on two levels: my final thoughts of the day are focused on all that’s wonderful about my God, and I can go to bed and sleep peacefully without the weight of all the heavy, difficult, painful issues of the day on my mind. Works for me!


I saw those things on Good Morning America some time back. It looked cool, but I would be afraid that someone would mess with me while I was sleeping… like, what if I was wearing a dress, or would someone tie my shoelaces together? I don’t like to sleep in “public”… I was so embarassed on one long weekend with friends to realize that I’d been asleep in the lazy boy for 2 hours while conversation went on around me…

I guess I was really tired. My toenails had been painted orange and I had two kitties on my lap when I awoke!


Mom & I always say we’re going to “hit the hay.” I sometimes say, “All right, I’m going under.” Good article. Sleep is mysterious, isn’t it? I think 7-9 hours is good. I don’t always sleep all the way through, though. It’s probably because mom & I usually drink tea at night, and so we both wind up getting up at different times during the night to . . . well, you know.


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