How Does Sleep Affect How We Feel God’s Presence?

We took 6,100 surveys from the SoulPulse data and asked on a scale from 1-10 how close people felt to God (at this moment I feel God’s presence) two times each day for a two week period. When we compared the answers to questions about sleep we found the following results.

Here is a histogram of feeling close to God correlated to perceived quality of sleep:
Graph5-Close to God by quality of sleep

As you can see, the more respondents felt they had “quality sleep” the more they generally report feeling close to God. When one of the chief authors of SoulPulse, John Ortberg, saw his results, his discovery on this factor immediately increased his attention to his sleep habits. He noticed that his experience of God’s presence was even more dramatically affected by sleep quality than the trend shown by the overall sample in the above graph.

When we asked the same sample about the closeness to God correlated with the number of hours sleep there did not seem to be any trend of significance, as you can see from this histogram

Graph3-Close to God by hours slept

So according to our data sleep does effect experiencing the presence of God, but much more so in terms of quality than quantity. What do you think accounts for this? And how would you differentiate a quality night’s sleep from quantity hours of sleep?

Next time we will look at SoulPulse data on how the experience of love, joy, and peace (what we call spiritual fruit) is affected by both quality and quantity of sleep.

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