Sleep Or Lack Of?
by Nick Bishop
Do you ever have difficulty sleeping? What causes us to have sleepless nights? Just as COVID has been identified as a pandemic, however, so is sleeplessness. According to a survey commissioned in 2014:
22% of people struggle to sleep every night
15% of people struggle to sleep once a week.
NHS prescriptions for Melatonin, which is released by the brain order to help us sleep, rose by 148 % between May and June in 2014. In May of 2019, the NHS issued prescriptions costing £2.6 million for sleep deprivation. The NHS also issued 438,399 prescriptions for Zopiclone, the drug issued to help people to overcome insomnia, to the tune of £292,354,
No doubt, modern life does not help our sleep patterns. We are bombarded day and night by information on social media, news, television, radio, etc, that our brains were never meant to entertain. We rarely have time to stop and think and we have become like ants, where work dominates our lives!
After a busy and tiring day at work, we long for our bed, some quiet rest and peace, and yet, we still struggle to sleep – hence insomnia.
Worries can lead to many sleepless nights. We are worried about COVID, our families, our job or paying the bills, about the future, and even the past, which can leave us anxious and unsettled. Sleeplessness is the bane of modern life, for many people, including myself. Some people try medicine, drugs or drink, and sadly, we have become dependant on these things to help us rest.
Some people try reading to help them rest and sleep, and occasionally, this can work. Others say your bedroom should be a place of peace and sanctuary, but if your partner snores or uses the bathroom a lot, this can also hinder a good nights sleep!
The lives of many today are dominated by screens on our phones, computers, television sets, etc. The blue artificial light from electronic devices can interfere with our natural ability to sleep. When we consider how long we engage with these devices, is it any wonder then, that we cannot get some quality sleep?
Of course, vivid and strange dreams can interfere with our sleep. Nightmares can scare us and cause us to wake up, and especially if the experience we had, seemed very real. Scientists say that dreaming is the brain’s way of sorting things out and trying to make sense of everything it stores. Humans are not the only creatures that dream, and some of us will be familiar when our dog goes into dream mode. They exhibit all kinds of behaviour – for example, lying on their side, while their limbs are in motion as if running.
In the Bible, we know that God sometimes sends dreams to warn us, give us answers to prayer, etc. We know God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow and so, the Lord still interacts with his people today, and sometimes in the same way.
Lack of sleep can be harmful to us physically, mentally and spiritually. Sleep is the body’s way of making sure we get enough rest so that repairs can be carried out to our vital organs, muscles, sinews, etc. The brain certainly needs rest, for all the things it is called upon to do.
So what can we do to make sure we get a good nights sleep? It is recommended that you try to go to bed at the same time, and it is, vital, that you have done some strenuous, physical activity and balance it, with some mental activity. A hot bath is sometimes recommended for a goods nights sleep. Sometimes having the radio on low or relaxing music can also help. Temperature is also important so that you are not too hot or cold and so able to sleep peacefully. Spiritually speaking, it is good and healthy for us to meditate on God’s word, and pray, with thanksgiving, resting in God’s presence and asking him to ease our mind, leaving our worries and concerns with him.
The Bible contains many helpful scriptures on the subject. Here are a few:
Matt 11:28-29: “Come to me all you who labour and are heavily laden, I will give you rest”.
Exodus 33:14: And he said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest”.
Jeremiah 31:6: “At this, I awoke and looked, and my sleep was pleasant to me”.
Proverbs 3:24: “If you lie down, you will not be afraid, when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet”,
God bless you.
June 20, 2022
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