Why do we sleep? That’s a question that Yanki Tauber examines in an article of that name posted at Chabad.org.
“If our active hours must always be preceded by what the Talmud calls the ‘minor death’ of sleep, there is a lesson here, a truth that is fundamental to the nature of human achievement,” Tauber writes in his article.
He continues, “The Lubavitcher Rebbe explains: If we didn’t sleep, there would be no tomorrow. Life would be a single, seamless today. Our every thought and deed would be an outgrowth of all our previous thoughts and deeds. There would be no new beginnings in our lives, for the very concept of a new beginning would be alien to us.”
We don’t think about sleep when we are busy doing, running, meeting our schedules and those of our families. The schedules often take over our day and, before we know it, the day is done and we’re exhausted.
So many times, we do not stop until we simply cannot go on. It would be better if we paid attention to those signals of moving too fast, doing too much and overloading our system before things start to break down. But, typically, when we get going, our warning signals get overridden by our activities.
Stress affects our body, mind and spirit and we need time to recuperate. Rest is crucial to rebuilding our reserves. As we go through our day, we can help ourselves by taking refreshing mini-breaks. We can calm our nervous system with soothing music, colors, sounds, food and people; with movies, books and programs that inspire and uplift us; with prayer and meditation; by appreciating who we are; and by making sure we are well-hydrated.
Yanki Tauber continues in the article, “Sleep means that we have the capacity to not only improve but also transcend ourselves. To open a new chapter in life that is neither predicted nor enabled by what we did and were up until now. To free ourselves of yesterday’s constraints and build a new, recreated self.”
Rest and sleep are gifts: They give us an opportunity to rejuvenate our bodies and minds.
PATRICIA RASKIN, president of Raskin Resources Productions Inc., is an award-winning radio producer and Rhode Island business owner. She is the host of “The Patricia Raskin” show, a radio and podcast coach, and a board member of Temple Emanu-El, in Providence.