When our kids were small all six of them did not sleep much. Actually some hardly slept at all which meant I didn’t either.
Sleeplessness, insomnia or the inability to get a good night’s rest is more common than many of us realise, because sleep, including napping during the day has huge benefits to how our brains and bodies operate. “It has a multiplicity of benefits: our brains and bodies restore; our systems reboot; our processing and creativity ability increases; our chances of making bad decisions decrease; we can even find solutions to new problems. Sleep also has a crucial role in memory development and improves intelligence levels.” (Dr Caroline Leaf)
Science is also discovering the links between our emotions and sleep and revealing that the sleeping brain calculates what is most important about our day’s experiences, thoughts and emotions and chooses what has been the most dominant factors in our day so as to store these things in our memories. Whatever we think about the most, especially just before sleep is marked “priority” in our brains and becomes part of our internal wiring and makeup.
Which is why God’s advice to “not go to bed angry”, to cast all our cares on Jesus, and to not live stressed and burdened all the time is real wisdom. If we have had a great day then that is what we are going to process and hold onto, but if we have had things that affected us negatively God wants us to bring all these things to Him. To take captive any thoughts that disagree with what He says about our lives and to let Him work in our hearts and minds so that He can bring answers to our problems, and give us peace and rest. (2 Corinthians 10:5-7)
The bible teaches us that,“It is vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.” (Psalm 127:ESV)
We don’t have to push it 24/7 week after week for God promises He will bless the work of our hands and that His plan for us is that our work is not full of toil. Plus He wants us to live at peace knowing that we don’t have to figure out everything all by ourselves.
God can actually do more while we rest and sleep than we can do while we are awake. While we sleep, He works behind the scenes on our behalf. While we sleep He also can speak to us, give us answers from heaven to problems or questions we are asking and download to us creative ideas and strategies.
If you have trouble sleeping start to claim God’s promise that as you lie down your sleep will be sweet, and get in the habit of off loading your burdens and concerns into His care before you settle down for the night.
Let the last thing you do be to listen to or to read God’s word and promises to you, for what we think about is what grows and becomes part of who we are.
Here are some other practical ideas for a good night’s sleep:
Follow a regular sleep schedule. Go to sleep and get up at the same time each day, even on weekends or when you are traveling.
Avoid napping in the late afternoon or evening.
Develop a bedtime routine. Take time to relax before bedtime each night.
Try not to watch television or use your computer, phone, or tablet in the bedroom. The light from these devices may make it difficult for you to fall asleep. And think about what you are watching before you head to bed.
Keep your bedroom at a comfortable temperature, not too hot or too cold, and as quiet as possible.
Use low lighting in the evenings and as you prepare for bed.
Exercise at regular times each day but preferably not within 3 hours of your bedtime.
Avoid eating large meals close to bedtime
Stay away from caffeine late in the day. Caffeine (found in coffee, tea, soda, and chocolate) can keep you awake. Alcohol also won’t help gain quality sleep.
Tonight as you sleep know that God’s plan for you is to give you great sleep so that your body and brain is rejuvenated and that you increase in creativity, memory, problem solving skills and revelation from Him.
“Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble. When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you rest, your sleep will be sweet”.(Proverbs 3:23-24 Berean Bible)
Prayer: Lord thankyou that I can give you all my concerns and the things that might keep me awake at night. Please help me to give everything into your capable care, and that as I sleep you will speak to me, bring revelation, and rejuvenate my body and work on my behalf. In Jesus name Amen.