Pss. 1:2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
I have quite a few friends who suffer from insomnia. Now mind you they are all God loving people, so when they say they have insomnia, I scratch my head. I’m not talking one or two friends either, I’m talking like 10-15 friends all suffering with the inability to sleep and stay there. So if your reading this, I’m not targeting you, I’m trying to understand the condition, the disease.
We live in a world of stress, noises and images that all clog the mind. I used to have disrupted sleep when I was younger but I knew it was from the stress of the day and the long arduous days and nights of simply living as a drug user and alcoholic. But after coming clean, clearing my soul and conscience of the poisons intoxicating my body, I honed in on ways to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Granted I was twenty-one when I came clean and am now nearing 50, I still rest peacefully and comfortably for seven-eight hours a night. Some of my tricks to get me to this point are now conscious forming habits that led me to just keeping still and falling fast asleep.
It all might change again in my later years but for now, I’m relishing the peace that washes over me every single night and I carry it with me throughout my waking days. What are my tips and how do you attain the peace? I don’t know if it will work for you because most are chronic sufferers that have had this struggle since childhood and have tried everything to no avail. You have my sympathy.
Look at the list for symptoms of insomnia:
Difficulty falling asleep
Awakening during the night
Not feeling well rested
Irritability, depression, or anxiety
Difficulty paying attention
Distress in the stomach
Ongoing worries about sleep
That’s quite a list. Do you see yourself with ANY of these symptoms? One or two probably doesn’t signify chronic insomnia but more than three; you’re a chronic insomniac.
We’re not going to add medications to the list here because the older you get or the more medications you take can be a cause for sleepless nights. But the main cause of insomnia, especially chronic insomnia that which you’ve had since you were a child, is stress and anxiety.
As a sufferer you may fool yourself into believing you don’t have any depression or stress. You may lie over and over again making excuses with it’s the meds, it’s the noise, it’s the ______, you fill in the blank. What lies do you tell yourself? Let’s face it, you’re stressed! Whether it is meeting the standard of what other people see in you, bills you can’t pay, the job you hate, or facing old age, stress is the killer. Yes KILLER! If you’re happy and content with that, then read no further.
The Mayo Clinic reports: “Sleep is as important to your health as a healthy diet and regular exercise. Whatever your reason for sleep loss, insomnia can affect you both mentally and physically. People with insomnia report a lower quality of life compared with people who are sleeping well.”
Do you remember as a kid our parents told us that if we had trouble sleeping to count sheep? Do you know why? What does sheep have to do with the inability to sleep? Well for starters it’s a way of focusing the mind on something other than your stressful thoughts. It’s a form of meditation.
Meditation is a secret tool I implemented in my early days of clearing my mind of stressful distractions and it has been an essential tool in finding a peace like never before. Some may laugh and scoff claiming it doesn’t work, but you DO know God has placed very simple tools in our hands, like herbs instead of drugs, to help aid us with our diseases and illnesses that take over our bodies. Meditation is a tool from God to use and aid us in stress-filled times.
Pss. 63:6 When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches.
Many people listen to audiobooks when they’re trying to fall asleep, this is stimulating your mind and the very reason it doesn’t work for insomniacs. Some listen to music but again this is stirring the mind and doesn’t have long-term effects. To find sleep, one must relax the mind.
What is MY method? I’ll share, but first let me tell you I am not without stress, depression and illnesses so don’t think this is just coming from a happy-all-the-time gal. I have experienced many depths of darkness but I still enjoy seven to eight hours of SLEEP!
Before falling asleep there are things I do first, like pray. Not for myself, not for my situation not for me me me. I like to pray for others in need (there is always time to pray for me). I’ve said my prayers.
The second thing is to have my rainfall cd playing in the background. I love rainfall and thunder and since snow makes no sound, rain is my choice. You might have another comforting sound to focus on but mine is rain.
Begin focusing on the sound. Stress creeping in? Put it in a box, a cardboard box, for safe keeping until tomorrow, right now you need to focus on the drops. Bills, things to do gnawing at you? See the paper of the bill? See the word? Place it in the box. Picture the box floating in the midst of stars, millions of stars, the box looks quite small doesn’t it? You’re placing whatever is stressing you into the box as each distraction tries to get through, place them one by one in the box. If it gets full, start a new box!
The box will get full as you fill it with your worries, y’know. If you don’t have enough self control to focus because of a pain your feeling or the thoughts are too numerous, this box trick might take some time before your nights are filled with rest.
The box or boxes, are floating in the universe. You see them, you know they’re your worries, but the drops of rain make you realize the box can’t get wet. Drip after drip the box moves out into the solar system, you see the paper fluttering from the boxes; worries all stored for another time, you see numerous boxes and all your problems are in there. You’re focusing on the box as it is floating…floating…you sleep.
You’re going to try this night after night. It’s not a one-try deal. Repetition and perseverance is what’s going to make this work. Now if you’d rather think of your worries and focus on them, then you will be maintaining the disease and keeping it alive for years to come. Please don’t tell me you like stress and enjoy restless nights of sleep, it is up to YOU, your mind, your conscience and your very SOUL to be WORTH the change.