Get some sleep! That’s the latest urgent advice from slumber scientists. And none may be more eager to follow it than the near forty percent of Canadians who suffer from insomnia, according to a report by Laval University in Quebec.
A good night’s sleep is often the first thing we sacrifice when life gets too busy. But a chronic inability to sleep, which is attributed to various reasons including aging, causes many people to feel drugs are their only hope for relief.
Yet, some studies show that there are ways to rest better without drugs.
Researchers from the University of Manchester have found that people with higher levels of gratitude and positive thoughts before bed slept longer and reported better quality rest.
On nights when I struggle to turn off the day and fall asleep, I find the most help in quieting my thinking is a prayer of gratitude – acknowledging God’s goodness and presence in my life. To me this is much more than general positive thinking– it’s letting the divine influence mould thought with a spiritual sense of myself as God’s loved creation.
An encouraging account I read tells how one woman changed the way she thought about her identity and age, and found it to be a life-transforming solution to severe insomnia.
Joy realized she’d been accepting the theory that as you get older, sleeping problems are common. She wrote, “But I realized I needed to put a stop to that kind of thinking. As far as God was concerned, my spiritual identity was changeless and ageless, and therefore it was completely reasonable and natural to have a restful night’s sleep every night.”
Joy’s trust in God reminds me of the promise given by the Psalmist: “This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him.” (Ps. 91:2 NLT)
I have found that trusting in this care becomes easier when I make a greater effort to see God’s goodness expressed. This may come in the form of patience, forgiveness, friendliness and compassion expressed by others or by me. When I feel these qualities at hand, rest comes.
Joy certainly felt an effect from lifting her thinking in this way. She returned to sleeping normally. She says that these days, any time she starts to toss and turn, she hits the ‘pause button’ and acknowledges God’s perpetual love and care. She also no longer feels like her well-being is dependent on a certain number of hours of sleep.
So many are trying to figure out the secret to a good night’s sleep so they can awake refreshed for the next day. But regardless of the hours our head lays on a pillow, true rest and repose can come from the discovery that our health and well-being have a divine foundation. We can all rest soundly in God’s care.
You can read this article in Metroland news media throughout Ontario, such as Durham Region.