Before the 1900s Americans averaged nearly 9 hours/night and were mostly involved in daily physically labor. With the invention of the electric light, the industrial revolution and resulting urbanization, Americans became less active and averaged 8 hours of sleep/night. Today, Americans average less than 7 hours of sleep/night and get very little activity.
Sometime ago, for about a week my sleep was very restless and I had a hard time falling asleep. I had a lot on my mind and just couldn’t quit thinking to fall asleep. It started on a Thursday. That night I probably slept a total of 4 hours. Friday thru Sunday I did better averaging probably about 6 hours and then Monday night, I got home from work at 10:30 PM and went straight to bed, but I did not fall asleep until after four in the morning, when my husband crawled into bed.
He had not had much sleep since Saturday night. Sunday night he and his friend had driven all night to participant in a tractor pull. They attended the pull and finished their last pull around 11 PM Monday night, loaded up and headed home. I did not like him on the road without sufficient sleep. So between the things on my mind and my sleepy husband on the road, sleep evaded me.
Tuesday morning I forced myself out of bed after approximately 2-3 hours of fitful sleep and got ready for my first appointment scheduled for 8 AM. How well do you think I functioned that day?
Do you have sleepless or restless nights?
When a person is stressed and overcommitted with a full schedule of activity until just before bedtime, it is difficult to fall asleep and sleep well. Often excessive stress and pressure are self-imposed, sometimes driven by feelings of insecurity and inferiority. And so it was with me, I was feeling quite inadequate to meet the demands placed upon me. And yet I was doing my honest best.
After consulting with a trusted friend, I was able to refocus and see the bigger picture. I was being a workaholic, my life was out of balance, and I was reaping the result of difficulty sleeping. The remedy for me was a renewed, healthy spiritual focus. Knowing GOD has my back, knowing that Someone bigger than me will take care of my dilemmas. And learning to trust and wait on Him to work it all out, allowed me to finally get restful sleep again.
Sometimes it may not be as simple as counting your blessings instead of sheep, but after knowing we have done our very best we can have security and comfort that GOD will take care of the rest. Personal issues may need to be examined in the light of GOD’s love and care for us, which may be accomplished through personal Bible study and/or counseling with a professional or trusted friend. This can help us bring our self-talk and thinking into alignment with GOD’s Word. When we develop a healthier perspective, reprioritize duties, relax, and experience inner peace, we usually fall asleep more easily.
Learning to be content is an art, and GOD is the Artist! Cast all your care upon Him because He care for you! (See 1 Peter 5:7). It doesn’t have to be all about us…we can take the focus off of us and realign with proper focus to do all to the glory of GOD (1 Corinthians 10:31).
If you are prone to be a workaholic, like me, we can learn, with GOD’s help, to be content, to work healthy hours and to set aside time for non-work activities. Filling our day with a variety of interesting and profitable activities can help combat sleep disorders. GOD has created us to be balanced; to work and rest, work and rest. Part of healthy rest is a change of pace; spending time doing something completely different. We were created to work six days and then rest. God gave us one entire day to spend doing something completely different; to focus on our Creator, our roots, our heritage and to reach out to our family, friends and neighbors. GOD tells us:
“Take my yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls.” Matthew 11:29
He’s got your back, why don’t you try His method for proper rest?