Thursday, June 7, 2012

the one with sleepless nights


Sometimes it's difficult for me to sleep well at night. There a few factors that play into this...

1. I have learned that I am a pretty light sleeper. I wake up often, after I finally fall asleep. I guess I thought this was normal until I married Rob who does.not.wake.up. until morning. :) That's when I realized how awesome that would be.

2. I also have nightmares/bad dreams pretty regularly. This can make my sleep very un-restful. I wake up feeling distressed and even more exhausted than when I went to sleep. It also can lead to anxiety when falling asleep because I don't want to fall asleep in case I have bad dreams.

3. Finally, I also just have nights when my mind is racing with a million things to do, or remember, or plan out. I just can't shut my brain off no matter how hard I try.

Now it's really not that bad. I have gotten used to my "sleep problems" and it doesn't bother me too much. It's only when I've gone 3-4 nights in a row of sleepless, restless nights that I start to despair and get a little frustrated. 

During these sleepless nights, I have become very thankful for 1) the Word of the Lord, and 2) the power of prayer. I try to pray every night before I go to sleep now because I've seen such a positive difference when I pray over my sleep. The Lord will protect & control my thoughts and dreams even when they seem out of my control. He will give me rest when I am anxious, exhausted, and distressed. He really is Sovereign over everything. He is great...and He is near.

I also have found GREAT comfort in Psalm 139. I memorized this psalm in high school (thanks, rhetoric class!) and it has stuck with me ever since. It is such a beautiful poem, full of truth, hope, comfort, and praise. It comforts me no matter what I am going through. When I'm having trouble sleeping, I just recite this psalm line-by-line in my brain and it immediately calms me down and focuses my heart on things above. I just say the lines over and over until I fall asleep. It makes my heart leap with praise and it comforts my soul. I encourage you to memorize it too (or find another passage of Scripture you love) so that you have it ready in your mind for the times when you need to hold onto truth.

Thank you, Jesus, for these words. Sometimes it feels like they were written just for me.

“O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. 
You know when I sit and when I rise; 
you perceive my thoughts from afar. 
You discern my going out and my lying down; 
you are familiar with all my ways. 
Before a word is on my tongue 
you know it completely, O Lord. 
You hem me in - behind and before; 
you have laid your hand upon me. 
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, 
too lofty for me to attain. 
Where can I go from your Spirit? 
Where can I flee from your presence? 
If I go up to the heavens, you are there; 
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. 
If I rise on the wings of the dawn, 
if I settle on the far side of the sea, 
even there your hand will guide me, 
your right hand will hold me fast. 
If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will hide me 
and the light will become night around me,’ 
even the darkness will not be dark to you; 
the night will shine like day, 
for darkness is as light to you. 
For you created my inmost being; 
you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; 
your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 
My frame was not hidden from you 
when I was made in the secret place. 
When I was woven together 
in the depths of the earth, 
your eyes saw my unformed body. 
All the days ordained for me 
were written in your book 
before one of them came to be. 
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! 
How vast is the sum of them!  
Were I to count them, 
they would outnumber the grains of sand. 
When I awake, I am still with you...
Search me, O God, and know my heart; 
test me and know my anxious thoughts. 
See if there is any offensive way in me, 
and lead me in the way everlasting.”
{ Psalm 139 }

4 comments :

  1. I'm sorry you have such a hard time sleeping...especially the really bad dreams part. "Night terrors" have been a problem with some of Tara's friends and I believe she actually found out that some sort of Vitamin B supplements totally worked to stop them and bring great sleep. I will ask her. I can sympathize with not being able to turn your mind off. Nick suggested some Melatonin tiny tablets for EZ and it has helped. I may have to try it myself! Praying for you and LOVE Psalm 139.

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  2. Oh, Nicole, I have been there and am there often. I can full attest to prayer being so helpful. One of my problems was also being afraid of the dark (yes when I was like 26+). I finally got over my pride and asked for prayer from my small group and God graciously answered that prayer. I can now get up multiple times a night to feed.
    I am still working on falling asleep easily/falling back to sleep and mind racing. A couple things I have tried: melatonin (really does help), Tylenol pm, keeping a notepad and pen by my bed, having water by the bed (if I'm thirsty getting up to get it just wakes me even more)
    I'll be praying for you friend. Thanks for your transparency

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  3. thank you linda and courtney!! i really appreciate your prayers and encouragement. LOVE you both!!

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  4. it's been too long since you've said something on here! (starts chanting) POST POST POST POST.

    : )

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Have a wonderful day & thanks for stopping by! xoxo
Nicole