Mark Twain once said, “It’s not what you eat that gives you indigestion, it’s what’s eating you.” The same could be said of poor sleep. Have you ever had trouble sleeping? Has sleep evaded you? According to the National Sleep Foundation, two-thirds of women experience a sleep problem at least a few nights a week.
Sleep is mandatory for good mental health.
Sleep is mandatory for good mental health. When I did my internship in the psychiatric unit, the doctor would not let a person leave unless they had at least 6 hours of a good night’s rest. The 6 hours would allow the person to go through at least three 90 minute cycles of sleep. Normal dreaming (called REM sleep) lasts around 20 minutes of that cycle. Non-REM sleep repairs and refreshes the body while the REM sleep restores the mind. When a person is depressed, the REM sleep is longer.
Although sickness, chemical imbalances, noises outside, and environmental changes all may cause sleepless nights, “matters of the heart” and stress many times make it difficult for us to sleep. The following are some ways to reduce or alleviate our psychological stress:
1.) Resolve your anger. If someone has upset you during the day, then tell them about how you feel in a loving way before you go to bed. In Ephesians 4:26, Paul says, “Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger.”(NASB) (Struggling with conflict, check out: “SLOW DOWN! Practical Ways To Handle Conflict“)
2.) Be assertive. Throughout the day, express your needs, wants, and feelings directly and honestly. Don’t assume you are correct or that everyone will feel the same way. Allow others to hold other views without dismissing or insulting them. In Ephesians, Paul calls this, “speaking the truth in love.” (NIV)
3.) Take responsibility for your faults. If you gossiped about someone, hurt another’s feelings, or harmed somebody in any way, then apologize to that person and ask for their forgiveness. In James 5:16, Jesus’ brother says, “…confess your sins to each other…” (NIV)
4.) Tell God how you feel. Pray to God – tell him how you feel uncensored. Be genuine and honest with Him. If you are having trouble staying focused, then write your prayer to him. Jesus said, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28 NASB)
5.) Journal. Before bed, write it on paper what has been happening in your life and how you feel about it. Get those thoughts out of your head and get them organized in writing. Lamentations 3:40 says, “Let us examine and probe our ways, and let us return to the Lord.” (NASB)