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“Come ye yourselves apart… and rest a while;” — Jesus

“Irregular hours for eating sap the brain forces.”1

“I know from the testimonies given me from time to time, that sleep is worth far more before than after midnight. Two hours of good sleep before twelve o’clock, is worth more than four hours after twelve o’clock.”2

Resting the Stomach

“In many cases the faintness that leads to desire for food is felt because digestive organs have been too severely taxed during the day. After disposing of one meal, the digestive organs need rest. At least five or six hours should intervene between the meals; and most persons who give the plan a trial, will find that two meals a day are better than three.”3

“When we lie down at night the stomach should have its work all done that it as well as other portions of the body may enjoy rest. But if more food is forced upon it, the digestive organs are put in motion again, to perform the same round of labor through the sleeping hours. The sleep of such is often disturbed with unpleasant dream, and in the morning they awake un-refreshed. When this practice is followed, the digestive organs lose their natural vigor, and the person finds himself a miserable dyspeptic.4

Notes on Proper Rest

  1. Sleep rebuilds the cells of your body and all major organs including bone marrow, stomach and muscles.
  2. Sleep refreshes the brain.
  3. Sleep chases away fatigue.
  4. Sleep enhances the cleansing process of blood and lymph.
  5. Non-REM Sleep (rapid eye movement) is from 1-7 minutes after you fall asleep.
    1. Brain cells rest
    2. Muscles rejuvenate
  6. REM Sleep (rapid eye movement) Important stage of sleep. This stage recurs approximately every 70-90 minutes after you sleep. (You have 4-5 of these active brain periods each night).
    1. The brain becomes more active, sorting, filing, and analyzing information.
    2. This activity improves your learning ability and memory.
    3. It helps you make emotional and physiological adjustments.
    4. This is where you solve difficult problems and perplexing situations.
    5. REM sleep needs approximately 8 hours. At 6 hours you may feel rested but the brain needs longer periods of REM sleep.
  7. Sleep reinforces your character structure.
  8. Dreaming is necessary for good mental health.
    1. You dream about every 90 minutes while you sleep. (you may not realize it)
    2. Deprivation of REM or deep sleep may cause:
      1. Irritability
      2. Anxiety
      3. Lack of concentration
      4. Depression or Apathy
  9. During sleep the body produces higher levels of growth hormones, stimulates tissue growth, speeds healing processes and lowers blood cholesterol.
  10. Digestion takes place at only ½ the pace while at rest. Food in the stomach disturbs sleep and persons require less sleep when going to bed on an empty stomach. With food in the stomach, it will be overworked and exhausted and the person will awaken as tired as when they went to bed!
  11. Those who have the best health usually, regularly get 7-8 hours of sleep each night.

The Sabbath Rest

Our Heavenly Father has given one day every week where we can retreat from the cares of life and rest mind, body and spirit. This day is Sabbath: which means to repose, desist from exertion, a rest, an interruption, cessation from work—A Sabbatism or a special holiday.

“Remember the Sabbath to keep it holy.
Six days thou shalt labor, and all thy work:
But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD
Thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son,
Nor the daughter, the manservant, nor the maidservant,
nor the cattle, nor the stranger that is within thy gates:
For in six days the LORD made the heaven and earth,
The sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day:
Wherefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.”

Exodus 20:8-11

For more information: Shorter’s Health Manual


1. Counsels on Diet and Foods, p.123
2. 7 MR, p.224
3. Counsels on Diets and Foods, p.173, 174
4. Counsels on Health, p.11

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