How Much Sleep Do You Really Need?

Do not love sleep or you will grow poor, stay awake and you will have food to spare ~ Proverbs 20:13

Sleep too much and you waste productive time.  Sleep too little and you affect your health, alertness and productivity.  How do we balance the two?

The book of Proverbs teaches the principle of “harvest times.”  A harvest time is a period in your life when your work efforts produce an inordinate amount of result.  You need to minimize your sleep during these productive periods in order to accomplish the job at hand.  However, too little sleep can leave you sluggish, dull or even ill.

Sleep Needs

Sleep Like a Baby


How do we balance the two?  How much sleep do we really need?

John Wesley, the 18th century minister and traveling evangelist actually conducted experiments to see how much sleep he needed.  He did not want to spend productive hours sleeping in violation of biblical principles so he devised a series of experiments to determine what his sleep needs actually were.

This is what he did.

He typically went to bed about 9:30 and arose at 8. He decided to wake himself at 12:30 am and see how long it took him to return to sleep.  If it took a long time, he determined he probably was getting too much sleep. If he fell back to sleep instantly, he reasoned, he probably needed that sleep.

At 12:30 am he awoke and found that he could not get back to sleep easily.  Therefore he then cut his sleep back to get up at 7 am – an hour earlier.  Still, after awakening at 12:30 he could not get back to sleep and began arising at 6 am.  He kept moving things up to a 4 am wakeup time and found this was the ideal time for him.

Wake Up Time!

4 am!  Now that’s early, but remember he went to bed at 9:30 at night, so this was six and a half hours sleep.

He stuck to this schedule the rest of his life – regularly rising at 4 am with a requirement of six and a half hours of sleep per night.  This worked for him, although he recognized others required more or less sleep.

There were other zealots during Wesley’s time who advocated 3 or 4 hours sleep per night.  Wesley observed almost all people needed at least 6 hours per night and those who sleep less quickly fell into a state of failing health.

What are your sleep requirements?  As for me, I’m a seven hour per night person but will often sneak in a nap on a weekend.  I have recently pushed back my awaking time to 4:30 am to squeeze in some exercise in the morning.   We will see how that goes.

Can you get by on less sleep?  Push back your wakeup time gradually and see how you function, or try Wesley’s method of a middle of night wakeup alarm to determine your personal sleep requirements.  But remember the all important key – balance!



Multiple Streams of Income – Biblical? Part II Getting Started

“She can laugh at the days to come” ~ Proverbs 31:25

We examined in an earlier post the concept of Multiple Streams of Income. This concept is biblical.  We determined that the entrepreneur found in Proverbs 31, also called the Proverbs 31 Woman, had created multiple home-based businesses that provided a stable source of income for her household.

The Proverbs 31 is a wonderful example and model for today’s men and woman seeking to be free of the dangers of a traditional job.  A traditional job brings with it the chance of demotion, lay-offs or burn out.

There is freedom in not being tied down to a single company or employment. The Proverbs 31 Woman can “laugh the days to come” meaning she has built a lifestyle that includes a financial model that can withstand “downturns in the economy.”

Can you build Multiple Streams of Income?  Can you turn your home into a hub of work and activity that not only is enjoyable but produces income as well?

Here are some guidelines in establishing your own Multiple Streams of Income based on Proverbs 31.

1. Follow your own passions and skills.   Even though the Proverbs 31 woman was skilled in real estate, grape growing and clothing production, these may not be your skills.  Follow the concept and do not duplicate the exact businesses. If your skill is teaching, you may decide that tutoring will be one source of your income stream.  I would hate investing in real estate, yet I love investing in stocks.  So owning dividend-producing stocks is my first stream of income.

2. Start small. The Proverbs 31 woman’s skill in clothing and cloth production obviously progressed over time.  Perhaps she started by making clothes for her family before she progressed to linen garments sold in the market.  You must develop your skill and develop it well before moving it from your home out into the marketplace.

3. Reinvest your earnings.  She plants a vineyard “out of her earnings”.  You must treat your income streams as business income and not as a hobby.  Profits are reinvested into other ventures until you reach the level of income you desire.

4. Be alert to opportunity.  Before the Proverbs 31 woman planted a vineyard, sold clothing or purchased property she had to determine that there would be a market for her enterprise.  If you have six homes in your neighborhood selling Avon that market is likely saturated.  Find something others aren’t doing.  A recent charitable Christmas catalogue told of a woman in Asia who received a gift of a sewing machine.  She wisely used her machine to produce mosquito netting – a product in great demand in her part of the world.  She has done very well in this venture.

5. Ask daily for wisdom.  Make the Lord your senior partner in any enterprise.  He knows the end from the beginning and knows what the future brings.  Also seek advice from others. In a multitude of counselors there is wisdom.

Get started today!  Don’t wait for a downsizing or other event to force you to find other sources of income.  You too can build a secure financial future and be able to “laugh at the days to come.”


Marketing Secrets from the Bible

Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; someone else, and not your own lips.~ Proverbs 27:2

We had some new windows installed on our house by an excellent contractor.  They arrived on time, worked fast, and completed a big job in one day.  One minor defect remained and they came back as promised and took care of the problem.  Now, every glance out our bright new windows is a delight and I was glad to write a check for the job.

The contractor asked one favor of us.  Would I be willing to write a short testimonial regarding my recent experience?  Well, of course, I was delighted to do this.

Happy Customer

Satisfied Customer











The website for the window company I used is filled with testimonials from satisfied customers – not a handful, but 200 testimonials. These include written testimonials, before and after pictures, and even some video testimonials.  This was one of the reasons I chose to do business with them.

So here is the secret to Biblical Marketing.  Let “word of mouth” be your advertising strategy.  We are more likely to make a purchase when a trusted friend or relative buys and loves their purchase.

This is one of the strategies at Amazon.  You find a product you might like, next you read reviews.  You read Five Star Reviews, and you read some One Star Reviews.  These help you make a decision to buy. (Notice there are very few products with poor reviews)

Are you a small business owner?  Solicit testimonials, post them on your website, at your place of business and in your advertisements. Don’t toot your own horn – let your customers do your bragging.

Walk Like A Winner!

“Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm.” ~ Proverbs 4-25-26

Winners have a certain walk. With shoulders lifted up, eyes straight ahead, a smile on their face and a focused walk toward the target of their success.

What comes first, the winning or the walk?

In my experience the walk comes first.  I don’t see many successful executives slouching, dragging their feet or wandering aimlessly.  They don’t zig-zag like zombies staring into their cell phones.  Watch political candidates as they approach the lectern for a debate. They have been coached and have practiced that walk over and over again. You can too. If you do the things successful people do you’ll discover you to will be on the path to success.

Straight Ahead













How do you stack up?  Try a quick walk across the room and back and judge for yourself.  Eyes forward?  Shoulders lifted? Purposeful?  Pleasant face or smile?

I didn’t like my walk so this week I resolved to change it.  I tried to imagine walking as if I was suspended from above.  Straight back, lighter step but not robotic.

It was a lot of fun and the results were quite dramatic. The smile on my face was returned with greetings from both coworkers and complete strangers. I wasted less time, was distracted less, and got more accomplished.

I’m looking forward to week 2.  Try it yourself can’t help but pay.