The link between your thoughts and your sleep, and the Scripture that will help you recover your sleep
In America alone, the sleep industry is a multi-billion dollar industry. There are all sorts of products and services designed to assist sleep from high-tech beds and bedding to an array of medications and supplements to therapies and various modalities. Everyone knows sleep is important and far too many of us aren’t getting that restful sleep that we need. In fact, many people wake up just as tired as they were when they lay down. God has put insights into how to get sweet sleep in the scripture. Let’s explore the possible spiritual root issue behind sleep challenges and disorders, and the Biblical insights that will help you to recover your sleep. (Be sure to download the FREE printable at the end of this article “Scriptures for Sweet Sleep“)
To understand the possible spiritual roots to sleep issues, we need to understand how God designed us to begin with. We were created to thrive in God’s nature because the Word says that we were created in God’s image. Health and wholeness depend on us being restored to that image in our spirit first, and then our bodies line up in peace and balance to health. In the case of sleep, when our spirit returns to peace and trust in God, our body will be able to find rest as well.
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. Genesis 1:27 KJV
Though we cannot see Him, the Word clearly describes the attributes of God’s nature.
Galatians 5:22-23 describes the fruits of the Spirit of God, so we know that these are the qualities that God already holds within Himself as His divine nature that we receive when we line ourselves up with His Spirit and His Word.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 KJV
The physiology of sleep
Anything that is contrary to God’s nature that He designed us for can throw off the delicate balance of peace in our spirits and homeostasis in our bodies. Homeostasis is the ability of the body to maintain a state of equilibrium so that all the systems of the body function properly and work together.
There is a tiny gland in our brain called the hypothalamus. This gland tries to keep our bodies in a state of homeostasis by regulating various autonomic functions of the body including metabolic processes (digestion), body temperature, thirst, and sleep. One may also call it the gateway between our mind and our body because it is directly affected by our thoughts to create subsequent bodily reactions.
What happens when we agree with something that isn’t God’s nature?
Perhaps we’re struggling with fear, anxiety, and stress, which would mean that we are not at peace, we don’t feel completely safe or covered, or maybe we feel out of control in some areas of our lives. Our hypothalamus will recognize that state of unease and release chemical responses throughout our body to put us in a state of fight or flight until the issue has been resolved and it can return the body to a state of homeostasis.
The problem comes when the issue is not resolved. This is one of the possible spiritual root issues to sleep problems. When we’re unable to come to terms with issues we’re struggling with, be it a relationship issue, a guilt issue, or a circumstance that is beyond our control, or something that we’re trying to ‘figure out,’ our hypothalamus picks up on that and keeps our body in a state of alertness. It’s not going to let you rest until you’ve come to terms with whatever is nagging at you.
Relationship struggles may affect our sleep
Anxiety and stress are driven by a spirit of fear. The presence of fear in our lives is a good indication of a breakdown in relationship in one or more of these three levels: with God, yourself, or others. The Word says the following in 1 John 4:18:
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18 KJV
If someone who is supposed to love you, does not love you properly, are you going to feel safe with them or will you feel uneasy around them? What if circumstances come that are out of your control, are you able to rest and trust God with them, or do you tend to try to figure it out and continually ruminate on them? What about your own failures? Are you able to quickly forgive yourself and repent and move on or do you tend to beat yourself up and try to figure out what you should have done differently and worry about whether you will be rejected, etc? This is the spiritual battleground that goes on between our eyeballs. The Word says that we don’t wrestle against others or even ourselves but our battle is really against the enemy of our spirit, the Devil.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places]. Ephesians 6:12 KJV
The enemy has a strategy to make you have trouble sleeping
He knows that if he can disrupt or disturb your sleep or deprive you entirely of it, you’ll be weakened through your day from being able to function and process things properly. Therefore you are weakened in your overcoming journey. He’ll use any form of conflict, discomfort, or adversity to try to rob your peace and joy and to keep you from trusting God. Then, if he can steal your sleep, he may be able to cause some of these issues that come as a consequence of sleep deprivation: a weakened immune system, weight gain, memory issues, trouble with thought processing and concentration, mood changes, increased risk of accident and injury, increased risk of high blood pressure, affected balance and coordination and even more.
Other possible spiritual roots to loss of sleep
Other factors may play into loss of sleep as well. Many people find themselves in an endless struggle for perfection in drivenness and performance in order to earn love. This drivenness and performance can also be a sleep robber. It’ll cause a person to continually try to figure out how to do things better or bring all sorts of grand ideas that would make them feel like they could do or be something valuable. It is still torment and it still comes out of fear. Remember, 1 John 4:18 says that fear brings torment.
Some other fears that may come into play are fear of pain, fear of sleeping, fear of not getting enough sleep, etc. These little lies will drive us to try to figure out how to sleep well or make us think that we can’t for any given reason. Did you know that you don’t have to agree with those thoughts? You don’t have to figure out how to sleep. God designed you to sleep simply and naturally without any aids. Can you trust Him in that?
It all comes back to who we are putting our trust in. Are we believing fear or are we trusting that God is our protector and source and that He has good things prepared for us? He designed you to sleep and to do it well!
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. James 1:17 KJV
What about night terror or torment?
In the case of night terror and torment, there could be some additional spiritual dynamics at play that may have gained access as a result of engagement in occultic modalities, practices, or ways of thinking, in the person’s life or in their generations (eg. may include participation with witchcraft, eastern spiritualism or medicine, yoga, etc.). This could include a spirit of divination – the need to know and have it all figured out which would be rooted in not properly trusting God and fear again. There may also be a spirit of fear of evil and superstition that deceives you into believing that the enemy is stronger than God and makes you feel unsafe at night.
These are evil spirits that give us ways of thinking that, though they may seem right, are contrary to the way that God thinks. Remember, homeostasis is lost when we come out of alignment with God’s nature and the way He thinks.
(to learn more about your spiritual battleground CLICK HERE)
Is there conflict in your home?
Another area that can bring torment and loss of sleep is conflict. Conflict and strife in relationship can open the door to all kinds of fears and other tormenting spirits like bitterness, anger, and hatred. Conflict is often caused by envy and strife and gives a door point to confusion and our old buddy fear again. The Word says this in James 3:16:
For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. James 3:16 KJV
This is where the principle of separation is vitally important. When we make a person our enemy we feel the need to fight against them to either protect ourselves or to get what we want. However, if we allow God to help us see them from His perspective, He can give us the grace, wisdom, and compassion to handle conflict with love and patience.
A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. Proverbs 15:1 KJV
When peace is restored to the home and to your relationships, guess what?! You’ll be able to come out of fight or flight mode and back into rest mode. Your heart rate will return to normal and your whole body will be able to come back into a state of homeostasis.
Are you conflicted with yourself?
What is self-conflict? Self-conflict is when we waver between two opinions. It often involves a fear of doing something wrong. The challenge is that when we are in self-conflict it means that we are leaning on our own understanding and not relying on God to bring a clear answer in His time. (This is also a possible spiritual root of Migraines)
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. 7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. 8 It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones. Proverbs 3:5-8 KJV
Are you seeing a pattern here?
The antidote to fear and loss of sleep is learning how to trust in God. When we can fully cast our cares on Him, He can relieve us of those heavy burdens that are preventing us from the sweet sleep that He has prepared for us.
Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. 1 Peter 5:7 KJV
For your consideration and prayer time
There is a lot to consider here. If you struggle with sleep issues, you may or may not deal with all of these roots, maybe there’s only one or two, but let them be food for thought and something that can be brought to Father God in prayer and consideration so that He can show you the secret places of your heart. If you recognize any of these dynamics, there is no need to have guilt or accuse yourself or others. Simply repent for what you’ve personally been in agreement with before God and forgive yourself and anyone else that you may be struggling with. (The 8 Rs to Freedom will help you overcome the enemy in your life.)
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 KJV
For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: 15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Matthew 6:14- 15 KJV
Are you ready to be restored to sweet sleep?
Next comes restoration! This is where we begin to walk into freedom in God’s peace. Most of the time there is a journey into retraining ourselves in how we think, speak and act. If God’s nature is the key to perfect peace and homeostasis, let that be what you pursue. Seek His heart; learn how to walk with Him in relationship and fellowship. Read His Word and allow it to cleanse your spirit and to provide a firm foundation of truth for you to stand on. Allow Him to lead your thoughts by His Holy Spirit.
9 Scriptures for Trusting God, Renewing your mind, and Receiving Sweet Sleep
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things [are] honest, whatsoever things [are] just, whatsoever things [are] pure, whatsoever things [are] lovely, whatsoever things [are] of good report; if [there be] any virtue, and if [there be] any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8 KJV
Thou wilt keep [him] in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Isaiah 26:3 KJV
My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion: 22 So shall they be life unto thy soul, and grace to thy neck. 23 Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble. 24 When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet. 25 Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh. 26 For the LORD shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken. Proverbs 3:21-26 KJV
But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the LORD will hear when I call unto him. 4 Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah. 5 Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD. 6 [There be] many that say, Who will shew us any good? LORD, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us. 7 Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased. 8 I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:3-8 KJV
In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul. Psalm 94:19 KJV
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7 KJV
For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. Romans 8:15 KJV
Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh [but] in vain. 2 [It is] vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: [for] so he giveth his beloved sleep. Psalm 127:12 KJV
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 KJV
The Be in Health Team
Bonus! Free Printable Poster “Scriptures for Sweet Sleep”
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