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Sarah Hudson Pierce: The effects of sleep deprivation

by Minden Press-Herald

According to the CDC thirty -six percent or  one in three Americans don’t get  the recommended seven hours of sleep each night which leads to ask why, leading to numerous illnesses including heart attacks.

The  American Institute of Stress, writes that  stress is the basic cause of 60% of all illnesses and disease in America and costs the nation $300 billion in lost production and medical bills. 

As the victim of post-traumatic stress disorder, I could write the book about stress but have much to learn.

Doctor Norman Vincent Peale said “there does not seem to be very many people  who understand the absolute necessity of relaxing or who would know how to practice it if they tried.”

Dr. Flanders Dunbar, an authority on psychosomatic medicine, wrote in her book Mind and Body, “the inability to relax is one of the most widely spread diseases of our time and one of the most infrequently recognized.”

Having had rota-tor cuff surgery on August 28, 2018 I continue to ponder the connection of the mind and body.

Thirty years ago I watched a  series by Bill Moyers, author of Healing and The Mind, hosted by PBS, because I’ve had a gut level feeling for years  that most of our illnesses originate in our minds — when we toss and turn — unable to find solutions to overwhelming problems until our bodies finally rebel by making us sick enough to go to bed.

  In 2016 I found myself in such a situation until I   was so overwhelmed that I went to bed,  quit eating or drinking until  I had emergency surgery on July 21st  at Willis Knighton Hospital, due to a blocked, twisted colon.

Though not a doctor I will always believe that was a psychosomatic illness that ended up in a physical solution — surgery.

 I would  go so far as to say that even my back problems, which led to a fall causing my shoulder injury  may also be linked to a psychosomatic illness — which isn’t to say that the pain hasn’t been real.

The Bible says  that “as a man thinks in his  heart so he is” and I believe this applies to all areas of our lives, both physically and emotionally.

Since that time I  continue to think most of my illnesses have been psychosomatic because I don’t know how to truly relax and let go and let God take over.

Life isn’t easy.

It’s like the renowned artist, the late Jerry Wray,  often said “we all have something” which could mean many things.

I ponder how our mind and our bodies are connected.

I think if we could ever gain control of and become master of our thoughts most of our illnesses would be eliminated.

Since my colon surgery  I’ve  talked to two friends who experienced the same colon surgery I did after they each experienced one too many traumatic blows to their emotional system.They underwent surgeries identical to mine, including the doctor who performed all of our  surgeries.

How or why we have this strong mind body connection I do not understand but I sense it is true. I also believe that if we understood and followed God’s plan for our lives everything would fall into place but I know that most likely that will never happen because we are either too stubborn or weak willed to give into divine guidance for our lives.

The Bible also says “it is not in man to direct his own steps.”

How true — how very true!

The Bible also says “the fool hath said in his heart there is no God.”

Maybe I am just a simple minded person but when I observe the universe and my own body I know there is just too much evidence going on here to not believe in a  higher power and I know that we are often too weak willed or  to stubborn to turn our lives over to Him completely because we want to hold the reins of our lives, not submitting to His will — yet I know that He doesn’t want a puppet but children who want to listen — to obey but we most likely are a far cry from getting there but this body is physical and one day we will shed that which causes us much unnecessary pain because we are human.

But Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever  and He always gets me to the right place at the right, even though I never seem to get it all figured out.

I do enjoy being me, the girl from the backwoods of Arkansas!

Contact Sarah at [email protected] 

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