According to a 2013 Gallup poll, 40 percent of American adults get six hours or less per night. Even children are becoming sleep deprived. According to the 2014 Sleep in America Poll, 58 percent of teens average only seven hours of sleep or less.*
For example, getting less than five hours of sleep per night may double your risk of heart disease, heart attack, and/or stroke. Research has also found a persistent link between lack of sleep and weight gain, insulin resistance, and diabetes.*
As I was seeking the Lord for the next blog the Holy Spirit stated very plainly to blog on sleep, hence under the control of Gods spirit I will attempt to achieve this.
I will respond to the Lords direction by tapping into human wisdom and then following this up from my personal experience as taught by the Holy Spirit
According to the collective research on sleep disorders I have gleaned the following advice. At this point do I need to emphasize the importance of listening to the collective wisdom of mankind concerning things in the natural? But we need to do this in a reverence before the Lord and an ear to his Holy Spirit.
The following are tips to ensure a good night's sleep: ~
1/ Make sure you regularly get BRIGHT sun exposure during the day. Your pineal gland produces melatonin roughly in approximation to the contrast of bright sun exposure in the day and complete darkness at night.*
2/ Avoid watching TV or using your computer in the evening,at least an hour or so before going to bed. Once sun has set,avoidlight as much as possible, to promote natural melatonin secretion, which helps you feel sleepy.*
3/ Be mindful of electromagnetic fields (EMFs) in your bedroom. At minimum, move all electrical devices at least three feet away from your bed.*
4/ Sleep in darkness. Even a small amount of light in your bedroom can disrupt your body's internal clock and your pineal gland's melatonin production.*
5/ Keep the temperature in your bedroom below 70° Fahrenheit; 21 Celsius.*
I am attempting to follow the above, not all successfully I might add. But the Lord has been good and over a period of time I have come to see the following truths which have been communicated to me by the Holy Spirit.
As I turn out the light I say this prayer ~ 'Father I choose to lie down in your courts and go to sleep under the protection of your wings. Father I ask that you will be the one who causes by body to fall asleep.' At this point I relax content for I know that God who never sleeps nor slumbers will watch over me as a hen cares for her chickens.
If by chance that I do wake up I now speak as the boy Samuel was counseled to do. 'Lord speak for your servant is listening.' I have learned the hard way not to groan and moan when I wake up in the night allowing anxious thoughts to race non-stop through my mind as mad hounds' race off after a fox. No I take this an opportunity to communicate with my lord for after all he has allowed me to wake.
What we have to be careful, is that demonic forces are active at night when our defenses are down for they love the darkness and if we encourage dark thoughts in our mind, those thoughts will be like magnets to the demonic beings. At this point I chose to focus on Jesus my savior and deliverer by either quietly singing in the spirit/mind songs of worship/praise. The need to focus on Him away from our surroundings is paramount and essential.
Repeating verses/passages of scripture and standing firm on these words erects a bulwark against the dark forces and activates Gods angels to surround us with drawn swords and a ring of holy fire.
Once I have my thoughts firmly centered on Christ who is seated on the throne I begin to intercede for others, for I found this is a wonderful opportunity to up hold others before Gods throne and to be an advocate for those are crying out for their burdens to be carried. After all we are called to be co-workers or ambassadors for the living God. If I need to I may turn on the light and open my Bible and pray according to the words that I am directed to. I have come slowly to respect this waking in the night as a time of fellowship with my deliverer and saviour.
Father I lift up those who find that they cannot sleep at night and are terrified by the darkness and the loneliness that you may saturate them with your presence for as we lie in the darkness you are with us, your rod and staff do comfort us. Shine your light into their hearts and bath them in your holy fire, bringing warmth and strength to their bones. Take not your spirit from them Lord but enrich and enhance your glory in their minds. Grant them a vision of yourself sitting on your throne at the right hand of our Father, fill them with your love to overflowing and baptize your peace mightily into their minds. Still their raging minds with the dew of heaven and cast out any thought that does not obey your word. Give them rest in you Lord now and through the night as you lay them in the arms of our Saviour.
In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone,Lord, make me dwell in safety. Ps. 4
When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. Prov. 3
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 byBiblica, Inc.®Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
* Attributed to Mercola.com
I must save this blog, and ponder on it, for it was written for me, I am sure - though for others too, I am sure.
I get 4 hours sleep on work nights, sometimes much less, and then make up for it by sleeping in on days off. I awaken countless times during the night. I do try to pray for others when I awaken. And when I do, I find that when I get to the one I was supposed to be praying for, then I can get back to sleep.
Psalm 4:8 is a very important verse for me which I will explain in a moment but first I want to say I have sleep apnea and reading your blog reminded me of what my neurologist told me when he asked if I every took naps during the day. I said yes, I would sometimes on weekends but a lot of people do that. He told me that is NOT normal for healthy adults and the only reason I knew so many people who did it was because they were sleep-deprived as well. Now he wasn't saying they all had sleep apnea but lack of sleep is, as you pointed out, a very serious problem. The point I am trying to make is that we become so used to being sleep-deprived that we are often not aware of it.
The reason Psalm 4:8 is so special to me is because psychologically, it is a challenge for me to go to sleep in my own bed. I don't have the problem elsewhere but in my own room, in my own bed, there is a problem. You see, that was where I was and what I was doing when my brain aneurysm ruptured. It has become better over the years but still, I don't want to go to sleep.
Right after I got home from the hospital, I remember standing next to bed with tears running down my face because I was so tired but I was afraid to lie down on the bed. I was terrified of going to sleep and having it happen again. As I stood there, I saw the little box of promises that had belonged to my grandmother. I pulled out one of the cards and it was Psalm 4:8. I committed it to memory and so now, when fear overwhelms me in the night, I will say it and remember God is with me and all is well.
Thank you and love the blog. Psalms is a favorite of mine when lying down.
We make our son get away from any electronic item 2 hours before bed ... maybe I should (light bulb)!
Normally it's 5 hours a night for me, and one night in the week at random I will just collapse on the sofa at 9pm and accidentally catch up for the others.
Certainly think so about the demonic forces at night - so many of us only can find rest and sleep as we talk to God.
All I can say apart from that is that it comes as no surprise to me, how I had an unheard-of 11 hours of sleep the night you wrote this prayer.
God heard! Thank you Father!
God bless, John,
I fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow and then I waken around two hours later. I then can't sleep more than twenty minutes at a time without waking up. Personally I put it down to years of having to sleep with one ear open to listen for my sons breathing. Strange how I still fully waken at three am which is around the time of the night he would always have an asthma attack. A three AM wake always meant a 4am dash to the hospital.
I too use the opportunity, if it may be deemed that, to pray. Though personal demons do like to call at that dark hour also.
Sarah, I fully get the crashing once a week, though my crash is usually once every three weeks or so. I get to a point where I can't function and pan out from around 9pm also.
happy sleep my friends.