Among my favorites:
You get more anxious
And more stressed
You gain weight
You are not as athletic anymore
Harms cognitive function
Alzheimer's is more likely
Type 2 Diabetes is more likely
Blood pressure goes up
Risk of heart disease increases
Risk of stroke, too
The reality is, I don't get enough sleep. If a person should get between 7 and 8 hours a night, and on average, I maybe get 6, I am short at least one night of sleep per week. Multiply that by the number of years I have been doing this, and well, it doesn't paint a pretty picture.
A few years ago I found this nugget of wisdom in Psalm 127: In vain you rise early and stay up late. Pretty much had me pegged. Why? Because getting up at 2:40 AM is not productive, it's vanity. And okay, stupidity. Because reality says that just because the time says "AM" does not mean it's morning. 2:40 AM is the middle of the night.
Why have I done this? And for so long?
To (a) read my Bible before anyone gets up, (b) be done exercising before anyone gets up, and (c) for the past couple of years have my blog post done before anyone gets up. All noble reasons because I don't want what I want to do, or feel I need to do, to interrupt anyone else. Except realistically speaking, if it kills me (and by the list of potential health consequences it will) I wouldn't be able to interrupt anybody or be of any use to them at all.
But for me it goes beyond vanity straight to idolatry. Because I don't trust God with my time to be able to help me get done what I want to get done. And therein lies the problem. I am sure God would help me find the time to spend in His Word, but do I trust Him to help me with the other two? Nope. Not at all. Just being honest here. Why? Because I have lived believing the lie that 'if it's to be, it's up to me.' And fyi, that is a dangerous lie. Not just because it's unbiblical, but because it's detrimental.
So, in case you had any doubts about how deep my Type A, Control Freak problems went, now you know. They are not only significant, but serious.
I can't say God hasn't been pressing me on this issue for awhile and that to come to it now is any form of obedience. Obedience would have been years ago. This can't even count as a delay. But at the same time, and not to excuse my behavior, I wasn't ready to see it. And I believe He knew that. Because sometimes I think God in His grace and wisdom lets us continue until we reach a point that we know His way really is the only way so that we won't revert back to our own way.
So what does this mean? I'm not sure quite yet. I just know I need to slow down. But as He works on my heart and mind to trust His leading more, even in something as mundane as sleep, my encouragement to you is this: If God has been pressing something on you, and for longer than you would feel truly comfortable to publicly admit, maybe it's time to listen. If the last couple of days are any indication, it's worth it. I promise.