You brush your teeth, get under the covers, and relax into what should be a restful night of sleep. But then you lay there, staring at the ceiling. Every minute ticks by like an eternity, and you beg your body to fall asleep until eventually you turn over and see 2:00AM on your phone.
You don’t swear out loud (obviously), but you feel like you could knowing that morning is getting closer and closer—the meetings, the classes, whatever it is that wakes you up and won’t let you hit the snooze button.
We’ve all been there. There’s actually 60 million diagnosed cases of insomnia a year in the United States alone. That’s a whole lot of people not getting a whole lot of sleep, and there’s more that are dealing with it in silence.
Well, we’re here to help. Not the doctor’s diagnosis kind of help, but the help that comes from the Best Doctor we know. His prescription is found in the pages of the Bible, and we’re going to break down the different reasons why you might not be able to fall asleep and give scriptures to combat it.
1) You can’t turn my brain off.
The day’s tasks are swirling in your head. You’re problem solving or just going over details. Maybe you just started a new relationship, and you're thinking about the last moments you spent with that person.
The Prescription: “By the seventh day God had finished the work He had been doing; so on the seventh day He rested from all His work.” (Genesis 2:2, NIV)
Remind yourself that God rested. The thoughts that are keeping you awake actually are a sign of an underlying issue of control. Spending hours thinking about these things shows a lack of trust in yourself and God. As you climb into bed, say three wins from the day and thank God for being the example of knowing when to rest.
One six letter word that packs a powerful hit to our bodies. It could be stress from finances, work, relationships, or health issues. Stress feels like a heavy weight that you can’t seem to set down. You lie in bed and can feel the pressure of everything that you’re going through, and the idea of sleep seems like a distant dream.
The Prescription: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28–30, NIV)
Jesus Himself took the weight of your stress already. All you have to do is accept it. As you lie in bed, say out loud, “I give this weight to You, Jesus: weight that I know you already died for.”
3) You don’t want to give up on the day.
You have had a really great day. Got some quality time. Checked off everything on your to-do list. Had a moment to yourself. There was just something about your day. This is awesome news that we love to hear, but don’t let that great day keep you from having another one. We like to say: there is more!
The Prescription: “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22–23, NIV)
That’s a promise you can take to the dream bank. God is the God of good things, and if you relax and remember that every morning has something new to offer, it’ll help you find sleep. So, shut your eyes, and say, “Thank you for the day that You have given me, Jesus. I go to bed tonight knowing that you love me and that you are faithful.”
4) You’re anxious.
Worry. Fear. Terror. Doubt. They’re all in your mind. They keep you up at night, but you try to hide it from the people you know. You think to yourself, “What if people find out at church that I’m faking it.” This is a crippling place to be, but you’re not alone.
The Prescription: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6–7, NIV)
You don’t have to have all the answers to have faith. Guard your heart and mind from the things that take you on a train to fear and worry. Jesus is ready and willing to meet you in your anxiety. As you lay in bed, affirm yourself and your faith in God. Say out loud, “I believe in you God. I believe that you defeated every fear that I have. I believe that you are with me. Thank you for meeting me right where I’m at.”
We hope these verses are just what the Doctor ordered, and we pray that you find the rest that you are looking for. So break out those comfy clothes. Turn off your television, and set your alarm.