Tuckered vs. Knackered

Daily Post: Knackered


My uncle Wylie had two pet “sayin’s” for when he was tired.  He’d say, “I feel like I been rode hard and put up wet.”  Or he’d say, “I’m plumb knackered.”  Now as a kid, I thought this was funny, but only because I didn’t know what knackered meant.  Turns out it means the same thing my momma would say, “I’m plumb tuckered out.”  Basically this is the word version of the war for independence.  “Knackered” is the British version, “tuckered” is the North American version of the same concept:  being just too tired to move, or exhausted.

You ever have days like that?  I still do.  I used to get up early and start buzzing around, drinking that morning brew to get the juices flowing and the synapsis firing.  After getting prepped with fuel, washed with soap, and driving through the war zone that is commuter travel, I’d work more hours than I care to think.  I’d wonder as I got back in my worn out auto, if I had the strength and resolve to actually make it back through the jungle to my home, where a hot meal and warm bed waited for me.  I’d often look like the kid in this picture; just plumb knackered.  Then things changed and my commute was about 30 yards from my bedroom to my office, and at the end of some days, I’d still look like the kid in the picture.  Now things have changed again, and I’m semi-retired, and yep, you guessed it, I still look like the kid in the picture.  It happens.

The kid in the picture is doing exactly what the Creator designed our bodies to do, when they’ve played hard or worked hard, at the end of the day, we need sleep.  It’s part of the mystery that is the human body.  According to the National Sleep Foundation, here’s a list of how much sleep is recommended for each age group:

  • Newborns (0-3 months): Sleep range narrowed to 14-17 hours each day (previously it was 12-18)
  • Infants (4-11 months): Sleep range widened two hours to 12-15 hours (previously it was 14-15)
  • Toddlers (1-2 years): Sleep range widened by one hour to 11-14 hours (previously it was 12-14)
  • Preschoolers (3-5): Sleep range widened by one hour to 10-13 hours (previously it was 11-13)
  • School age children (6-13): Sleep range widened by one hour to 9-11 hours (previously it was 10-11)
  • Teenagers (14-17): Sleep range widened by one hour to 8-10 hours (previously it was 8.5-9.5)
  • Younger adults (18-25): Sleep range is 7-9 hours (new age category)
  • Adults (26-64): Sleep range did not change and remains 7-9 hours
  • Older adults (65+): Sleep range is 7-8 hours (new age category)

I guess I’m grateful some foundation took the time to research all this, and give us this valuable information, but my thought is, that we are born with this knowledge, because it’s programmed into our DNA.  Our “circadian rhythm,” the natural sleep/wake cycle, God Himself programmed into us, with His own breath of life:

Genesis 2:7
Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

Some will argue, there’s nothing in the Bible about sleep cycles, or Adam and Eve sleeping in the garden!  Well, how about that, you’re right.  However, there is a great deal of sleeping going on in the Bible, and it points to God’s design.  I’ll give you just one verse here, then you go get your Bible and check out all the others.  David’s morning prayer, declaring his trust in God, includes this statement:

Psalm 3:5
I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the LORD sustains me.

David became knackered with being chased by his son Absalom, and “tired to the bone,” he stopped to get some sleep.  He trusted God to protect him during this sleep, and give him the strength to do it all again the next day.  We’re wired this way.  And sleep works this way, when we put our trust in God.

Are you knackered?  Maybe what you need is a good night’s sleep.


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