Posts Tagged ‘sleep’

Getting Better Sleep (Part 2)

Thursday, March 8th, 2012


After researching sleep for over two years, I wanted to write a list of practical ways for getting better sleep. I heard these suggestions over and over again in articles and the media. What they don’t say is that you should try to eliminate as much stress from your life by trusting God. That’s step one. Then here are some practical ways to promote better sleep:

  • Go to bed at the same time each night, and get up at the same time each morning.
  • Exercise, but not too close to bed time.
  • Take a hot bath before bed.
  • If you wake up in the middle of the night, don’t look at the clock. It will only wake you up further. Just roll over and go back to sleep.
  • Don’t drink caffeine mid-afternoon onwards.
  • White noise can help, especially if you live in a loud neighborhood.
  • If you wake up every time your spouse turns over, you might need a bigger bed.
  • Make sure your room is completely dark, with no light sources.
  • Breathe in deeply through your nose, and exhale through your mouth. This can relax you.
  • Get more sunlight on your head during the day.
  • Don’t go full-tilt all day long, or you will have trouble decompressing when it’s time to go to bed. Instead, take breaks throughout your day, so that you feel caught up in your thoughts.
  • Eat dinner at least 2 or 3 hours before bed, so you have time to digest your food. But don’t go to bed hungry either. The best combination for a snack before bed is protein and carbohydrate, according to most articles.
  • Supposedly the computer stimulates your nervous system, so you shouldn’t be on the computer half hour before bedtime. The same goes for television.
  • I had a friend who did stretches before she went to bed, and she said she slept better.
  • A cool bedroom temperature helps you fall asleep and stay asleep.
  • When a traumatic experience happened in my life, I listened to soft Maranatha praise music as I fell asleep so I wouldn’t get nightmares. Soft music like Enya might be good to play half hour before bedtime, just to decompress.
  • Another time when I was having trouble sleeping, I had my husband read Scripture to me. God’s Word is soothing to my soul, so I was finally able to go to sleep when he did that, after not sleeping for days.

Getting Better Sleep (Part 1)

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012


Take away someone’s sleep for long enough, and they will begin to show signs of insanity. Certain sections of the brain stop functioning. Getting better sleep is vital not only for sanity, but for general health. A reduction in sleep can cause you to catch diseases more easily, because your immune system is not as strong as it should be. I know that in my own life, when I get less sleep, it’s harder to be cheerful with my children. It’s harder to do everything.

Interrupted sleep is sometimes related to stress. If your job is stressful, your brain might continue to work on the problems you’re trying to resolve at work. (This is also true when you study for a test right before going to sleep. Your mind continues to think about it while you are asleep, and you score higher on a test.) But if you are in a constant state of emergency at work, this will wear you down. It will wear out your body, and I’m not sure if a high-stress job is worth the toll it takes on your body.

If you have relationship problems, obsessing about them can cause you to not get restful sleep. Instead, you can hand the situation over to God, trusting that He will give you the right words to say at the right time. The more you stress out and fret, the worse the problem will become in your mind, and you will always overreact, causing more stress in your relationship. Stop thinking about it. As an emotional woman, I’ve discovered the shocking truth that I don’t have to think whatever thoughts come into my head. I do not have to bow down and worship my emotions. My emotions should not rule; God should rule. Hand the problem over to God and calmly recite a Scripture or think about something else that is calming, like some beautiful ocean waves.

Another cause of stress is spiritual. Sometimes I’m struggling with a sin issue, and I’m trying to overcome it. I cry out to God, and the weight of the issue is heavy on me, but it’s right before a huge spiritual transformation. For example, I asked God to grant me the ability to submit to my husband. I wanted it so badly that God caused a painful event to occur to bring things to a head. Grieving is not sin, and it might cause you to lose sleep. Continue to commit yourself to God, and He will draw near to you. Spiritual growth spurts are temporary, so at some point you will get through it to the other side, and start sleeping peacefully again.

At any point, you can read Scripture from the Psalms before going to sleep. Sometimes right in the middle of turmoil, I will have the most restful, peaceful sleep. This is miraculous, and it’s called “the peace that passes understanding.” God can grant that to you at any time, so if you are in pain or sadness, you don’t have to wait until the issue is resolved before getting good sleep. God rules and can grant you sleep at any time.

I thought it was interesting that my husband (who had work-related stress) had no problem sleeping when we were on vacation. That’s because all of his responsibilities were gone. These included being a good father to his children and keeping the house from falling apart through constant minor home improvements. I believe that getting away with your spouse can be refreshing for your marriage and for your life in general. If your spouse is having a sleep disorder because of stress, I strongly recommend that you take a break together. Looking at nature can also be relaxing and rejuvenating and can help you to sleep.