I struggle with insomnia. I fall asleep without issue, but my mind pops awake with important agenda items round about 2AM. My mind is a horrible boss with zero sense of humor. And it runs a bad meeting.
First it has me revisiting the previous day’s failings. The toddlers who cried nonstop at the the nursery where I volunteer. The Whole Foods deodorant that stopped working; the unfriendly number on the morning scale, and the extra glass of red wine.
Then lest I forget — my mean mind reminds me of that 3rd grade birthday party I wasn’t invited to or that college course I failed. The past, the present, the future – it veers seamlessly. No problem solving, just worry and self condemnation flirting with blatant fear.
Finally, my mind ends the meeting with no resolution. Only a commitment to revisit old and new agenda items the following evening.
I’ve tried magnesium, melatonin, meditation.
Now I’m taking a new approach. Memorization.
I would probably not be a Christian if it weren’t for the book of Psalms. Take a Bible and open to the middle and there you’ll find this compilation of brutally honest pleas and laments intermingled with praise and prayer. Perfect content to distract my midnight mind. A google search led me to this blog where the author shares her 3 Psalms to read when you can’t sleep.
Here’s what she says —
Return to your rest, my soul, for the LORD has been good to you. – Psalm 116:7
This is my go-to scripture to say over and over to myself on a sleepless night. I say it slow to really think about the words. I’m reminded that my soul can rest, because the Lord is good and I have so much evidence of His goodness in my life.
In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety. – Psalm 4:8
After a super busy day you would think the only thing my body would want to do is quickly fall asleep. Nope! I’ve realized a busy day usually leads to more difficulties falling asleep. My mind races with What will happen tomorrow? What will happen next year? What if something bad happens to me? My husband? My children?
There is nothing worse than trying to fall asleep on anxious thoughts. It’s during these times I love to pull out Psalm 4. It always reminds me God is in control, He is my protection, and I can trust Him. Now that’s some truth I can sleep on.
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. – Psalm 91:1,5,11
During the day, I’m not thinking about scary thoughts. But as soon as I hit the pillow they all want to attack. And fear is the enemy of sleep. Which is why I absolutely adore Psalm 91. I highly suggest you read this Psalm in its entirety. It reminds me God will not only protect me, but He will defend me as well.
It’s possible that I will never sleep through the night (being of a certain age). But at least I can decline my mind’s call to meeting and use the time to memorize scripture.
Who knows? My mind may even thank me in the morning.