A Sure Cure for Insomnia

shutterstock_83562310Do you have trouble sleeping?  At one time I suffered from insomnia.  I wrote about it and my readers comments helped me develop habits that now allow me to get a good nights sleep almost every night.

Relax for 30 minutes before you go to bed.

Avoid bright lights.

Develop pre-bedtime habits that your brain will associate with sleep.

All these were helpful. But one suggestion in particular was amazingly successful.  I dare you to try it. 

I used to sleep like a baby;

  • Accosted by nightmares
  • Continually distressed by nature’s call
  • Up crying half the night

As a result, the bags under my eyes were too big to fit in the overhead compartment on an airliner.

I tried a memory foam mattress. It didn’t help me sleep, but I did remember a pizza I ate when I was 13.  And when I got up the next morning I could see my own personal fossil right there in the mattress.

I tried a sleep number bed. It didn’t work.  I laid awake all night doing the math.  My sleep number is 90. That’s the number of seconds I actually slept each night.

My flesh was willing but my mind was weak.  My body would beg, “Please let’s go to sleep.” My mind argued,  “Nope, tonight we’re going to review all your sins and plan the rest of your life.”

Finally, I would manage to fall asleep about the same time my bladder would wake up.  It was a lose-lose proposition.

Here are some of my personal suggestions for sleeping well.

  • Buy a pacifier. It seems to work for my grandchildren.
  • Have someone read you a story: preferably someone who wants to stay awake.
  • Listen to the recording of an old sermon. I’ve seen that put people to sleep.

Here’s a better one.

Pray!

I have learned that if I start to pray, it isn’t long until I go out like a light.  At first I felt very guilty about this.  I didn’t know if it was the peace of the Lord or the hand of the devil who knocked me out.  But I have discovered there is a calm that takes over when we talk to God.  In His presence the stress of the day drifts away and so do you.

Actually prayer is much more than just a sleep aid. Here’s what the Bible says.

“Pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”  1Thessalonians 5:17-18

Try it!  It really works.  Is there a better place to go to sleep, or a better place to start your day than in the presence of God?

What are your secrets to getting a good nights sleep ?

I also wonder if I am the only one who falls asleep praying?

You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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Start your day with a smile and a challenge.  Get “Lighten Up”  90 lighthearted devotionals to brighten your day here. This post was adapted from one of those devotionals.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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24 thoughts on “A Sure Cure for Insomnia

  1. My problem, and Cindy’s because we share the same bed, is that I go to sleep perfectly fine and then God uses my sleeping time to solve all of the problems on my honey do list. Then because of my dementia I know that I won’t remember the solution when the alarm goes off, so, I get up and starting working on the project no matter what time at night it is. Cindy generally wakes up due to the noise I’m making, thank God she does because I sometimes get so caught up in the project I forget to get dressed. I thank God on those nights for interrupting my sleep and solving my problems.

  2. Well, I know the sermon works. My church records each Sunday sermon and will give you one just for signing up for the Sunday you want one for. My grandfather is the pastor, so he always gives the sermon instead of listening. He took one of the cds on vacation with him and decided to lay down, relax, and listen to it. He said he’s never fallen asleep so fast!

  3. Nope. You aren’t
    I lay awake solving all of my issues my grown children have, all the issues my 18 living grandchildren have (3 are with Jesus so they are very happy) and remembering all the things my spouse had done to irritate me over the years). When all that starts I pray the Holy Spirit will wrap me in his arm and calm my over thinking mind. He does:)

  4. Sometimes reciting the 23rd Psalm works for me or like you suggest, just praying. Also taking a couple of Advil or aspirin an hour before bedtime helps. Don’t do that every night though, it doesn’t work when you do. If spouse snores, go to bed 30 minutes earlier! If none of those work play computer games such as solitaire. It can become hypnotic and you can get really sleepy quickly.

  5. This sounds crazy, but I just start counting. Start at ‘1’, and count slowly. Eventually I bore myself to sleep. Praying sounds like a much better idea.

  6. I agree with your suggestion on prayer. I pray when I get to bed and it helps me go to sleep. I wake up earlier than I used to. Any suggestions on how to stay asleep?

  7. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer last April I was fine during the day but after dropping off to sleep I would come to and “do battle” with the dark. The unknown is bigger in the dark. I started praying but after I’d run out of prayer I started in on Bible verses. Eventually I would drop off to sleep repeating to myself “safe in the hands of God”. Now as I await diagnosis and treatment of complications following knee replacement … It still works! The outcome of cancer was positive and I know this one too will be fine.

  8. You’re definitely NOT the only one who falls asleep while praying, Ken! And I too, have felt really guilty about it. Thanks for the mention about the calm that comes over me while praying myself to sleep! Glad I’m not the only one who’s experienced it!
    I’ve also found that listening to a quiet CD of Christan music helps me not only to focus on Him, but to praise Him and thank Him BEFORE I drift off.
    I have found I sleep MUCH better after listening to Selah than I do when I listen to a Rest and Relax CD with beautiful, quiet music accompanied by sounds of the ocean waves breaking on the shore.
    Just some food for thought. But don’t get hungry for it while you’re trying to fall asleep!
    Blessings

  9. I have been using this method for several years now and have helped my husband with it also. He suffers anxiety and also has adultADHD and often has a difficult time slowing his mind down at night. I first felt guilty too falling asleep talking to God but now, since I know it works – I use it to settle my mind after a stressful day. I work in Mental Health with an average of 15 members daily and many nights am beyond tired! I can let my whole day go just by thanking Him for what I am blessed with and knowing in the morning that I went to sleep talking to God.

  10. It happens to me almost every night. I usually get through the praises and on to the thanksgiving and sometimes I finish my repenting before I nod off.

  11. I like the idea, and it’s certainly theologically sound. My problem: I’ll be too keyed up and worried about falling asleep in the middle of a prayer!

  12. When I lost my job, I was pretty stressed out. The minute I shut of the light and tried to sleep, my mind would go into overdrive. I would start hashing out what went wrong, going through “why me”. I shared this with an elder from my church. His comments were, as you mentioned, “Pray, say the Lords Prayer”. I never had to repeat it more than once.

  13. I too find that I am able to fall asleep while praying and always feel guilty. The other issue is I cannot stay asleep. Never tried praying each time I wake up duh. I will be trying this.

  14. Ken,
    I used to be a Hospice Chaplain – I would have many Patients or Caregivers who slept during the day and awake at night. -Meds would not help.

    Sooooo, I offered a Psalms/Proverbs reading plan -through them in 30 days. It would be 5 Psalms and 1 proverb daily . For example, today is the 22nd – So read Psalms 22, 52, 82, 112, 142 and Prov 22 tonight when getting toward bedtime. This reading plan is not only great for getting to sleep – but inspires for the following day. See Psalm 127:2 “… He (God) gives to His beloved sleep (can be translated even in his sleep). Enjoy.

    Pastor Dennis Dodge
    WRAF (90.9fm) Prayer Chaplain
    Phone: 1-800-251-8326 > I am at this number from8am to 10 am (Eastern) on Mondays through Fridays.

  15. I think what helps me best is thinking quiet thoughts. Sometimes it’s remembering the best of the day. I also am very relaxed thinking about the grandkids, they are very special. Caroline the middle one is a very special delight. She makes me laugh every time I see her.

  16. Prayer works for me every time! Jesus calms me down and tucks me safely into His arms, and I can sleep knowing there is no better place to be.

  17. You hit the nail on the head! My Dad was in a farm accident that broke his pelvis. He was in traction, and could only lay in bed … All day all night! Whenever he couldn’t sleep, he also would start to pray for each individual person in our family. He would relax and fall asleep.

  18. Praying has been my go-to solution for a very long time. I just start praying for whoever pops into my mind. I figure as soon as I pray for the one God thought needed prayers, I fall asleep. Works every time!!

  19. I love to pray and feel His peace surround me as I (finally) fall asleep. No guilt there. I like to think of that as such a gift and maybe … just maybe … the Holy Spirit continues our prayer for us while we sleep. But there are some nights, when the racing mind syndrome is over the top, I find myself thinking about something totally off the wall as it occurs to me that I’m no longer in my prayer…how did I even get from there to here? I’ll try to pray again, either starting over or trying to remember where I left off and picking up from there. And then, BAM — I’m thinking about how I need to check the electric wiring under the bridge … really? And the battle continues. But — I’ve found an awesome and safe solution in essential oils. There are oils that are so relaxing and oils that totally calm the mind helping me focus on my prayers of gratitude and praise while I fall asleep (and stay asleep – yay!) I am an aromatherapist and essential oil educator – contact me if you’re interested in learning more. Blessings to you!

  20. I have 3 methods that seem to work without fail:

    #1) my mom taught me a relaxation technique… consciously relax each part of my body, from top of my head to my feet… starting with my brain… repeating over and over, several times, ‘My (fill in the blank) is relaxed’… I do not ever recall getting past my stomach, if even that far.
    #2) I count backwards from 1000, by 5s… as far as I know, I have never gotten to 500.
    #3) My own variation of the car trip road game, ‘The Alphabet Game’… you know, where the object is to be the 1st player to find roadsigns that have all the letters of the alphabet, from A-Z… I pick a category, usually animals or foods, or something else, naming from A-Z: apple, banana, carrot, dates, eggplant…. or ape, bandicoot, cobra…… again thus usually works like a charm… I don’t ever recall making it halfway thru the alphabet