When was the last time you had trouble falling asleep?
Whether it’s caused by stress, depression, or illness, insomnia is a challenge for anyone.
But it can also be a way to draw closer to God.
Here are 4 God-honoring things to do when suffering from insomnia:
Insomnia is, unfortunately, a common problem.
Even the Psalmists wrote about their struggles with sleepless nights!
It’s frustrating to face night after night of restlessness. Whether your insomnia is induced by chronic pain or depression or just a season of anxiousness in your life, it’s difficult to cope with the effects of sleeplessness in your everyday life.
But God has the power to redeem every trial for good in the lives of His people — including insomnia!
The question is, what can you do to honor Him and draw closer to Him, even in your wakeful nights?
One of the best — and easiest — ways to redeem a period of insomnia is to pray.
It’s a chance to talk to God without many of the distractions that creep into your life throughout the day. At night, you can be relatively undisturbed to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
Make a list of the people and situations in your life that you want to pray over. Make sure to include the cause of your insomnia on that list!
When you can’t sleep, start praying through the list.
Not only is it an opportunity to bring your cares before God, but it’s also a way to calm a racing mind and focus on something besides the physical struggle of insomnia.
And if you happen to fall asleep as you pray, God doesn’t mind.
2. Memorize and Recite Scripture
You might think that you’re too busy in everyday life to memorize passages of Scripture.
Insomnia, as painful as it is, offers “extra” time to study and memorize the Word.
Even the Psalmists wrote, “I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night” (Psalm 63:6). They knew the value of turning their thoughts to God and His Word when they couldn’t seem to rest.
Memorize and meditate on passages that speak specifically to your situation.
Are you anxious or depressed? Psalm 91 calls you to rest in Christ’s shadow and trust Him as your Protector.
Are you facing chronic illness or pain? Psalm 46 describes God as your Refuge, your Strength, and your Helper.
Are you grieving? Psalm 4 reminds you that God is still working for good in your life and that He will bring you into a season of joy again.
The act of reciting Scripture helps settle the soul and the mind, and you may find that it’s easier to rest after you’ve worked through a few passages. You’ll also gain a greater understanding of God’s Word as you search for verses that touch your specific situation.
God calls us to remember His faithfulness in our lives (Joshua 4).
Writing down His engagement in the day-to-day events of your life can be a powerful testimony to yourself and to others.
If you can’t sleep, start writing. It doesn’t need to be fancy or well-worded; all you need to do is reflect on how you’ve seen God working in your life lately. How has He shown up in your job, your home life, or your personal devotions?
If you’ve been memorizing Scripture, you might find that your journaling connects to the passages you’ve been meditating on as well.
Journaling can help you see God’s work in your life more clearly, and research shows that it can also clear your mind and prepare you for better sleep.
4. Write letters.
If you’ve spent your sleepless nights praying for your family and friends, why not let them know it? Few things are more enjoyable than receiving a note in the mail, and they will be deeply encouraged by the fact that you’ve been lifting them up before God.
Insomnia can often make you feel isolated. Thinking about and writing to others during your wakeful nights can take your mind off the struggle and help you focus on the people around you.
As with journaling, the act of writing can help soothe your mind and body, so it’s best to write cards rather than emails!
Whether you wrestle with insomnia for a brief time or throughout your whole life, trust that God knows about it and is using it for His purpose.
He wants to redeem the trial of sleeplessness to bring you closer to Him and involve you in His kingdom work.