The Neglect of Sleep
"For they sleep not, except they have done mischief."—Prov. 4:16. "There is that neither day nor night seeth sleep with his eyes." -- Ecc. 8:16
Recent scientific experiments with a group of college students reveal an enormous over-consumption of energy in carrying on ordinary work performed on insufficient sleep.
One may go on for a while taking extra energy out of his body to make up for the loss of sleep without any perceptible slowing down in performance; but this extra drain upon his reserve energy, if kept up for any considerable time, will result in a greatly lessened endurance and efficiency. Just as for a short distance an auto-mobile can be driven in low gear without affecting its power of performance, but will not be in good condition after many miles have been traveled.
Eight hours for work, eight for recreation and eight for sleep, is generally recognised as the standard schedule for the division of time. The observance of this schedule would undoubtedly result in better health for us all, add much to our pleasure and happiness in life, and at the same time make for a greater efficiency in our work.
Neglect of proper sleeping hours will sooner or later have its effect, not only in the impairment of one’s strength and health, but in the disturbance of other conditions vital to wholesome and happy living. Solomon looked out "to see the business that is done upon the earth," and he saw many so engrossed in the business of earth that they "neither day nor night saw sleep with their eyes." He saw others so bent on folly that they never turned in for a night’s sleep until the greater part of the night was gone. Of these night-prowlers he said, "They sleep not, except they have done mischief." And if Solomon could look out into human society to-day, he would see multitudes following the same practice, robbing themselves of sleep either in the pursuit of wealth or in the pursuit of folly. With all the warning we have had about the harmfulness of this practice, people still persist in it.
Perhaps it will do little good to repeat this warning to the older generation. Any way, I am thinking mainly of the younger generation. Take care of your sleeping hours, young people. If you habitually rob yourself of sleep, either by working over time or by an over-indulgence in night parties and frolics, nature will in due time extract its penalty.