Holy in the Daily

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What to Do When You Have Trouble Sleeping at Night

woman having trouble sleeping at night from a post by Susan Gaddis at Holy in the Daily

Do you have trouble sleeping at night? Me too. I’m not sure if it is my age or just the night habit of a mother of six, but I often find myself awake at 3:00 in the morning.

Sometimes I’m troubled about a situation, and the worry monsters hover over me. Other nights there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with my world, except the need for more sleep.

But what do sleeping problems have to do with building a spiritual legacy? A lot really. What you do with the time when you can’t sleep determines what kind of person you will be the next morning.

Not being one to waste anything—I was raised by a Depression Era father—I’ve come up with ways to put my sleeplessness to good use:

Be practical

If you forgot to lock the doors, or some other nagging household thought bothers you, take care of it quickly. Don’t stay up worrying about it.

Be praying

Many Christians get their best praying done in the night seasons. I’m no exception. My prayer list sits on my bedside table so I can remind myself of who has asked for prayer. Some I have memorized since they are ongoing.

Be realistic

If you have children, there will be times when you will have trouble sleeping at night. When kids need you at 1:00 in the morning, sleep is off your agenda. Consider it time invested in building your character by ministering to your children. You’re depositing love and faithfulness into their little lives.

Be intentional

Keeping a regular sleep schedule really helps me sleep. I’m in bed by 10:00 p.m. and up at 5:00 a.m. And I’m not shy about taking a short nap in the afternoon. Sometimes when I find myself awake at 3:00, I get up and do some writing or read my Bible. No sense wasting time trying to fall back asleep. Usually within an hour I’m ready to hit the pillow again.

Be healthy

Cut back on caffeine, wine, or other food and drink that are known to give you trouble sleeping at night. Dehydration can cause sleeplessness too, so drink lots of water early in the day. Avoid drinking water in the evening, or you will have trouble sleeping because of the need to use the bathroom.

Be honest

You are not called to solve the problems of the world. Or your kid’s problems. Or every problem at work. Decide what is your responsibility, and then leave everything else in God’s hands. That stuff is none of your business, and dwelling on things that are not your business will cost you sleep.

Be processing

Process your concerns with the Lord, and let his Spirit instruct your heart. I find that I listen more intently to the Lord at night without the distractions of the day invading my thoughts.

I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel; My heart also instructs me in the night season. (Psalm 16:7 NKJ)

So now you know what I do when I’m having trouble sleeping at night. OK, maybe I do check out Facebook and play around on Pinterest a little, but hey, when else do I have time for that stuff?

Trouble sleeping at night

What do you do when you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t get back to sleep? What kind of person will you be in the morning? Choose wisely. People have to live with you.

Really, I’d love to hear from you. Drop a note in the comment section below, Susan

“Jesus likes it when we share.” -Adelaide, age 3: Pass this along to everybody and their brother. OK, maybe not everybody’s brother, but you know, all of your friends would be nice.

Related posts:

What Bookends Hold Your Day in Place?

5 Tips to Avoid Morning Depression

Check out this post on 6 Tips to Help Your Child Sleep Better by Maria El-Aaraj over at How to Be Super Mom.

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This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Lilly

    Reading my mail again, I see. DT got back from China, and I was beginning to think jet lag was contagious!

  2. Moira

    Very good thinking Susan….THANK YOU for sharing!!!!

    I engage in all the above……I HAVE to!!!
    Every night I go to bed I ‘take the mind of Christ’ and I choose faith over fear (taught to me by Jim)
    All of these practical & spiritual ‘exercises’ have gotten me through many a restless night.

    And of course I’m open to the possibility that God might be trying to get my attention or cooperation on something!!!!!

    THAT’s when it gets exciting!!!!

    I love and miss you guys enormously xx

  3. cindy king

    my niece gave me a cute sheep she made i hung it on wall across from the bed it says cant sleep dont count sheep just talk to the shepherd . it reminds me all the time which is often that i can lay there and do sometime important besides looking at the ceiling and and saying ohhhhh no it only 230 am . thank you lord for that reminder that you are there 24 7 cindy k

  4. Susan

    Sorry to be so long getting back to you all. New grandson arrived 2 weeks early and we weren’t quite prepared for him yet. (Daniel and Sarah live with us.) So while they were at the hospital, I’ve been getting the house ready.

    What an original reminder to talk to the Shepherd, Cindy. And what a lovely niece to give it to you!

    Moira, we miss you too. Someday I will make it across the pond to visit you and walk through your lovely garden. I think on that garden sometimes when I’m thinking “happy thoughts” to fall asleep.

    Oh my, Lilly. We’re headed to Finland after the first of the year and I hope jet leg isn’t contagious. The new baby will already be giving Jon and Sanna sleepless nights!

    1. Moira

      ….happy thoughts are good!!! The longer I live, the older I get, the more time I seem to spend on encouraging myself AND others, by focusing on what I DO have, and not on what I DON’T have!!! You know, counteracting the ‘Why art thou cast down Oh my soul…’ syndrome

      Sure works for me anyway…HUGs xx

      1. Susan

        We do have so much, don’t we, Moira. God is good.

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