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Welcome to day 2 of the series 7 Days Toward Calming Anxiety! This time of year brings a unique level of stress, fear, and even anxiety. So together, we’re taking a close look at Scripture and using this valuable resource to calm anxiety and embrace the joy of the Lord.
Calm Anxiety, Find Sleep
Any time I experience anxiety, my sleep suffers—tremendously. When I don’t sleep well, everything in my life is affected. And that causes, you guessed it, additional stress and anxiety.
Most nights I can fall asleep without any trouble. But then, for no apparent reason, I wake with a jolt, feeling worried and anxious about my situation. Sometimes anger and fear lie in wait for me in the dark of night, too, and I can’t seem to turn my anxious thoughts away.
That’s why I love these verses about sleep:
I will both lie down and sleep in peace,
For You alone, Lord, make me live in safety (HCSB).
When you lie down, you will not be afraid;
You will like down, and your sleep will be pleasant (HCSB).
In context, these verses pertain to trusting the Lord and following His ways. When we keep God as our focus instead of our troubling circumstance, He surrounds us with His perfect peace—even while we sleep.
These scriptures remind me that the Lord is always with me, protecting, guiding, and promising safety. Sleep is His design and He intends that it is peaceful and restful every evening.
I’ve heard it said that since God never sleeps, He is carrying our concerns and working His diving solutions to our problems even in the dead of night. So, we can go on sleeping in pleasant peace and security knowing that He continues to work on our behalf.
Practical Tips for Restful Sleep
Here are a few helpful tips that I’ve adopted for falling asleep and staying asleep, even during some of my most anxiety-plagued seasons of life:
- Before sleep, I agree with the Lord and what He says in His Word. Using the two verses mentioned above in prayer, I pray the scriptures back to Him. My prayers may resemble this:
“Lord, you alone bring peace and safety. I accept this demonstration of your loving kindness. When I lie down to sleep, I will dwell in your safety. You will help me sleep in peace. Tonight, I will not be afraid because You watch over me, my situation, and my family. Thank you for sleep that is pleasant and sweet. I look forward to feeling rested and restored in the morning.”
- I play restful music. It helps me to listen to soothing instrumental music, nature sounds, or white noise as I drift off to sleep. There are several radio channels available on our favorite music apps that are pleasant and helpful.
- When I wake in the night and have trouble going back to sleep, I play audio Scripture from the YouVersion Bible app. Before I know it, I’m sleeping once again.
- I often get out of bed and read God’s Word or pray over what’s troubling me. Since I’m losing sleep anyway, I set out to accomplish Kingdom work. I find that the enemy sometimes plants doubt and insecurity while I sleep. When I use his untimely interruption for prayer, I find that he’s a lot less apt to disrupt my sleep.
What are some of the ways you ensure a good night’s sleep?
May God’s Word strengthen you, bringing peace, calm and joy.