I can’t go to sleep!

You’re exhausted.  You can’t wait until you get to bed.  You know that as soon as your head hits the pillow you will fall asleep.  You barely make it getting ready for bed, you are so sleepy.  At last, you are laying down and your head is comfortably lying on the pillow. 

But all of a sudden you are wide awake! 

Almost as soon as your head touched the pillow you remembered:

  • The argument you had with your wife before work this morning,
  • The intense disagreement with your boss at work,
  • The close call in your car on the way home from work,
  • Your conflict with your neighbor earlier this evening
  • The difficulty you had helping your son with his homework

You are wide awake. 

You lay there a while and even snooze but you wake up suddenly out of a bad dream, sweaty, heart pounding and really awake.  In the dream your boss fired you.  You also remember that you still have another week to wait before you will get the report of the biopsy report from the doctor.  Now you can’t sleep.  You turn and toss and hear the hall clock chime the hours away. 

How to get to sleep?

God’s Word has some great help for you at such times.  In fact the Psalmist looked forward to the opportunities to stay awake because of what he would do with that time. 

“My eyes anticipate the night watches, that I may meditate on Your word.”  Ps 119:148 NAS 

As a shepherd he looked forward to the night shift because he used that to meditate on God’s Word.  During the night shift he had to be alert for thieves and wolves stealing or harming the sheep.  He could not read but had to constantly be on the alert in that position.  But he could meditate on God’s Word.  He had memorized some of the passages of what they had available to them and would use that time awake to think about with the goal of applying it to his life (this is meditating).  His inability to sleep due to his job was a benefit to him. 

“At midnight I shall rise to give thanks to You because of Your righteous ordinances.”  Ps 119:62 NAS  In this verse the Psalmist is actually getting up in the middle of the night to meditate on God’s Word. 

“My soul is satisfied as with marrow and fatness, and my mouth offers praises with joyful lips. when I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches.”  Ps 63:5-6 NAS

From these and many other passages let me give you a guide for dealing with those minutes or hours when you find sleep has left you. 

Spend the time meditating on God’s Word.  You will find it helpful to memorize verses that speak of God’s goodness and care of His children.  Rather than concentrating on getting to sleep, make your goal to see how long you can stay awake reviewing and meditating of God’s Word.

As you think about this you find it very relaxing.  You are glad you have found a way to control your thinking so that you can use your sleep time very well.  In fact you are so sleepy you are not sure you can finish reading this blog.  It has been very helpf  ZZZZzzzzzzzzz . . .

Bob Smith
Dr. Bob Smith, a retired physician, is co-founder of Faith Baptist Counseling Ministries. He is an instructor and counselor for Faith Biblical Counseling Ministries, where he oversees the training certification of several counselors. He is author of several books. Bob teaches several adult ministry classes and serves as the Chairman of deacons for Faith Church.