Have you ever had a dream or nightmare that scared you so bad, you were afraid to go back to sleep? This has happened to me so many times, especially when I was a little girl. I remember having the same dreams over and over again, which I later learned were called reoccurring dreams. I remember my dreams being so vivid. Some were good dreams, but very rarely. I had a lot of night terrors that threw off my sleeping pattern at a young age. I would often stay up late from fear of having a bad dream, or be awakened by a bad dream and never go back to sleep. There were some nights I wouldn’t sleep at all. Back then I didn’t understand that having dreams can be a gift from God. I didn’t know that dreams were one of the ways God uses to communicate with us.
Sometimes I would run to my mom’s door and wake her up because I was so frightened. I would say, “Mama, Mama, I had a bad dream!” She would roll over with her eyes half-opened and said, “It’s alright, go say your prayers.” I was so afraid of the dark. I slept with the light on. I didn’t start sleeping with the light off until my senior year in high school. Back then my prayers consisted of saying, “Lord please don’t let me have any bad dreams or nightmares”, and repeating it while hoping to fall asleep. My freshman year in college, it seems like my dreams got worst, so much so that I told my Pastor about them. She told me to read Psalm 91 every night before bed and leave it open on my bed as I was asleep because, “The word will work for you, even as you sleep”, she said. She also led me to Psalm 4:8, “‘In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord , will keep me safe.” My quality of sleep improved so much!
Fear is just one of the ways that can affect our sleep. Our sleep can also be affected by stress, anxiety, poor diet, or lack of a night-time routine. If you are struggling to fall asleep like I was try reading the following verses and leaving your bible open to Psalm 91 at night. Also, having a routine to actually wind down can help as well. Take a nice warm/hot shower or soak in the tub, drink decaffeinated tea, dim the lights and try breathing in and out to relax yourself, journal, or read a book. Some say it helps them to sleep if they work out or put away all electronics 20-30 minutes before falling asleep. A cool dark environment is often best to sleep in as well. The internet is full of great information that can be useful for getting adequate amounts of sleep. It was a little odd to me when I felt God was asking me share my experiences with rough sleep, and what has helped me. But sleep is apart of life and is vital to our health, mood, productivity.
If you really want to get to the bottom of the problem, create a sleep journal. Document how many hours you slept, what you ate before bed, and what you did before bed, to track you mood and energy levels when you wake up. God wants us to live balanced lives and getting proper rest and sleep are all apart of that! Let’s take care of the bodies God loaned us! Now get some rest!
❤ Annette D.