Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Book Review of Sleep: It Does a Family Good by Dr. Archibald Hart

I just loved reading Sleep: It Does a Family Good by Dr. Archibald Hart. It is an excellent book filled with good information and it is also a book that is written in a very readable manner.

Published by Tyndale Publishing in partnership with Focus on the Family, Dr. Hart shares how most families are so active and busy that they are about to burn out due to lack of rest. Following that, he shares how sleep is essential to healthy physical, emotional, and spiritual lives. Then, he shares some techniques and skills to increase the amount of sleep that you and members of your family get, and the benefits that will provide. He integrates his research on the importance of sleep and rest into a thorough theology of sleep and rest. Finally, Dr. Hart shows how integrate some ancient prayer practices into your life that will not only aid restful sleeping, but less anxious and busy living.

This book is countercultural. Our society teaches us that we can do it all, and do everything well. Our culture tells us to always look for ways to work harder, and to be better. Thus, we often rob ourselves of the sleep and rest that Scripture commends over and over again. God commands us to keep a Sabbath. The Lord Jesus offers the invitation, "Come unto me all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28). In many ways our attemps to live without rest are an attempt to at best earn God's approval, and at worst build an altar to the God of self. In either instance, choosing not to sleep and not to rest is an affront to the grace of God that we are called not only to be saved by, but to live in each day as well.

One thing I loved about this book is that it is well-researched, but at a very accessable level. Thus, there are lots of little tidbits about sleep and rest that drew my attention. I kept reading something to myself, and then re-reading little parts of the book outloud to my wife after I read them.

Sleep: It Does a Family Good is a wonderful book and an easy read. It should find a place on the bookshelf of Christians who want to be happier and healthier. It should also find its way into the hands of any Christian leader who wants some simple tools to help people become happier with their lives and healthier in their relationships.
(I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for reviewing it for Tyndale Publishers. A favorable review was not required in order to get this book, just an honest one.)

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