The Surprising Truth About Sleep — Why You Need A New Perspective

A few years ago, as I (Nelson) was studying Genesis in preparation for a teaching series, God brought something significant to my attention—a truth that became a paradigm-shifting revelation concerning my view of sleep. At first glance, the truth seems simple enough: when God created the world, he created the night before the day (Gen. 1:2–4). The darkness preceded the light. While this fact may seem insignificant on the surface, it is transformative when you follow it through.

In our culture, we consider nightfall the end of the day. We work hard through all our waking hours, and when the hour is finally late enough to justify our actions, we turn off all our screens and fall into bed exhausted. The next day begins when the alarm clock goes off. However, the Hebrew concept of night and day illustrated in Genesis is much different and arguably much more productive. In it, each sunset begins the preparation period for the next day. Sleep is not the reward for a day well spent; it is preparation for what God is calling you to tomorrow. In other words, tonight is not the end of today; it is the beginning of tomorrow.

Tonight is not the end of today; it is the beginning of tomorrow. Click To Tweet

This subtle change in perspective shifted my understanding of sleep. I began to realize that if God is going to accomplish what he wants to accomplish through me, I need to prepare myself by getting enough rest at night to be truly ready for what the next day will bring. My ability to fulfill my purpose is directly linked to how rested I am when I wake up each morning. The same is true for you.

Nighttime sleep is the prep time you and I have been given for each new day. It is a gift. Taking sleep seriously is our way of saying, “God, I want to be ready for what you have for me. I don’t want to miss or compromise your will because of my refusal to get the sleep I need to be at my best.” Since I have learned to give sleep the place in my life it deserves, not only am I more pleasant to be around but I am also more effective in my calling than I ever was during those years when I tried to function on fumes.

Nighttime sleep is the prep time you and I have been given for each new day. Click To Tweet

– Nelson Searcy and Jennifer Dykes Henson

The above excerpt is from p. 151-152 of The New You: A Guide to Better Physical, Mental, Emotional and Spiritual Wellness.

With your copy of The New You, you will come away with specific strategies on how to lose weight, get more sleep, lower stress, nurture better relationships, connect with God and much more! Anyone who wants to trade in the frustration of average living and less-than health for the hallmarks of the new life God promises will find The New You an effective personal guide for the journey.

Your partner in ministry,


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About Nelson Searcy

Nelson Searcy is an experienced church growth strategist, pastor, church planter and coach, consulting with churches around the world. As founder of Church Leader Insights and the Renegade Pastors Network, he has personally trained more than 3,500 church leaders in over 45 denominations through live events, seminars and monthly coaching. Nelson is also the Founding and Lead Pastor of The Journey Church, with locations across New York City and in Boca Raton, FL. Nelson and his church routinely appear on lists such as “The 50 Most Influential Churches” and “The 25 Most Innovative Leaders.” He is the author of over 100 church growth resources and 18+ books, including The Renegade Pastor: Abandoning Average in Your Life, Ministry and The Difference Maker: Using Your Everyday Life for Eternal Impact, and At the Cross with the People Who Were There. He and his wife, Kelley, have one son, Alexander.

Nelson SearcyHealth, Leadership