Christian meditation: God’s gift for healthy sleep
To sleep. Safe, peaceful, nutritious. Restore, heal the mind and body.
Insomnia. Restless mind, restless body, burning eyes and longing for peace, comfort, rest.
The psalmist certainly knew what it was like to have trouble sleeping. His words hit home, because we all know how he feels.
I’m tired of sighing. Every night I swim my bed … my eye has been consumed with pain. Ps 6: 7-8 In the night my hand was stretched out without fatigue; my soul refused to be comforted … You have kept my eyelids open … Ps 77: 2; 4
Insomnia damages both our bodies and our minds, causing problems ranging from diabetes to heart disease, creating accidents and poor job performance, and leaving us agile, irritable and in a bad mood.
We all want a good night’s sleep, a healthy body, and happy energy. The question for many is: HOW? Most of us experience insomnia occasionally, but for many, lack of sleep has become a painful way of life.
You’ve probably read the tips: exercise more, drink less alcohol, use white noise, take a hot bath, sleep in a cool room, drink warm milk (okay, I know that really helps, but I’d rather stay up!)
All of these things are certainly true. And if you are not doing them yet, why not?
You won’t sleep well if you don’t exercise regularly, you can count on that. Alcohol will make you sleepy, but it will also break down the sleep structure, causing you to wake up again and again, between episodes of shallow and poor-quality sleep. Hot baths, the hum of a fan in a cool, dark room … all are good ideas, important for good quality sleep.
But what if you’ve done all of this and still have trouble sleeping?
David knew what brought him healthy sleep and he spends much of his time in joy and rejoicing. What is different for David when he sleeps?
You have put joy in my heart … in peace I will lie down and sleep, because only you, oh Lord, make me dwell confidently. Ps 5: 7-8 I lay down and slept, I woke up, because the Lord sustains me. I will not fear ten thousand people who have turned against me. Psalm 4: 5-6
Sleep comes when we know we are safe and secure. And that assurance comes with trust in the Lord. With the comfort of knowing that you are safe in His hands.
You will have worries, and while it is true that most of the things that worry you will never happen, you know that some can! Your worries arise from real worries and reflect the love you have for others, the hopes you have for the future. You may be struggling with heartbreak and loss, and very real problems to deal with in the morning.
But your worry won’t help, no matter how real the worry is. And in your heart you know … and then the fears and worries start again.
Sometimes it really seems that ten thousand have turned against us! You want to give him your fears and worries, your ‘charlatanism’, but how? How can you have the peace and restful sleep that comes from trusting in Him, knowing that they hold you safely no matter what?
Meditate on your heart on your bed and be still. Ps 4: 4 I will remember my song in the night; I will meditate with my heart … Ps 77: 6
In meditation, God speaks to our heart, mind, and body. He gives us peace at the deepest level … and we can relax and sleep in the safety of His peace. In meditation, He fills our hearts with the warmth of His love. He washes our bodies with soothing biochemical waterfalls, giving us everything we need to sleep deeply and soundly.
And the more we meditate, the better we sleep!
So when you’re struggling at night, remember David’s words and let God’s peaceful gift of meditation fill your soul with comfort and your body with rest.