Saturday, December 18, 2021

When Sleep Won’t Come - Martin Wiles

That night the king had trouble sleeping, so he ordered an attendant to bring the book of the history of his reign so it could be read to him. Esther 6:1 NLT

For more than a decade, sleep has escaped me.

I always slept soundly until I hit fifty. Then, for some unknown reason, I began waking up every few hours. No medical issue caused it. The doctor offered to put me on meds to help me sleep, but I didn’t want to add another pill to my already growing list. I tried over-the-counter sleep helps. Nothing worked.

One day, Essential Oils made their way into my life through my daughter. She mixed a concoction, gave it to me in a roll-top bottle, and told me to apply it to the bottom of my feet before I went to bed. I was a skeptic…but it worked. Now, I wake up fewer times and sleep better.

Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder, affecting six to ten percent of adults, and is twice as common in women as in men. Untreated, it can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and other health problems. But if a person experiences none of these side effects, they may just be a short sleeper—which I think I am.

King Xerxes also had trouble sleeping, so he ordered the court records brought in and read to him. Surprisingly, he discovered that Mordecai had foiled a plot to assassinate the king, but had never received a reward. The king ordered his right-hand man, Haman, to reward Mordecai properly. Unknowing to him, the king also spoiled Haman’s plot to destroy the Jews.

When sleep won’t come, I choose to be productive without getting out of bed. One thing I do is recite Bible verses. I have my favorites memorized. Often, when I recite them, I fall asleep, killing two birds with one stone.

I also plan for the next day while awake. Since I teach, I always need to remember or to think about something. After a few minutes of planning with my eyes closed, I normally fall asleep.

One of my favorite things to do if I’m awake—and shouldn’t be—is plan what I’ll write the next morning. Morning is my time to do weekly writing. Thoughts come to me during the night when I’m awake. I’ve even been known to keep a pad by my bed so I can write them down, lest I forget when I awake in the morning.

I don’t enjoy waking up at night, but I figure why waste time if I’m awake. If you have trouble sleeping, make sure no medical issue causes your insomnia. If not, perhaps you are a short sleeper. If so, get a little something done during those periods when you’re awake.

When sleep won’t come, don’t waste the opportunity.

Prayer: Father, help us to lie down in peace and sleep, knowing You will watch over us. 

Tweetable: What do you do when sleep won't come? 

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