Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep

I have trouble sleeping sometimes, especially when I get stressed. My brain starts running as soon as my head hits the pillow. Everything I needed to do that day or need to do later darts through my mind like a never ending list. The list scrolls on and on and I cannot relax to sleep.

The only thing I have found to stop the mental treadmill is reciting scripture. A verse here and a verse there helps some of the time. The more stressful life is the longer it takes. Those times I need a longer passage like Psalm 1. So I make myself quote it straight through without error. If I make a mistake or loose my place, I start over. It was a chapter I studied many times growing up. Reciting it allows my mind to focus and let go of everything. I suppose in many ways it is my life motto. It reminds me of where my focus needs to be all the time not just when I cannot sleep.

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

7 comments:

shoprat said...

In Hebrew it says "Hashrey ha-ish" meaning "The joys of the man who does not walk with the wicked, stand in the way of criminals or sit in the place of skeptics". It should be a joy and that is the blessing.

jgf said...

"The joys of the man" I like that. We always memorized in KJV. Even though I prefer the New Living Translation, I think the King James is easier for me to memorize.

Dee said...

That's funny, I was thinking the same thing. I always memorize from the KJV too, but when I want to study, I use the NIV and KJV together. This is a great post. I will try and recite verses when I can't sleep.
DeeDee

HMIL said...

I have the same problem sometimes, but when I lay down, songs run through my head, sometimes the same one over and over and over, repetitively! It's particularly hard during the Christmas Season because those songs are indelibly etched into my consciousness.

However, when i have a really hard time falling asleep or going back to sleep, I find that the time passes most easily for me if I start praying ... mostly praying for others ... like my stepsister who is now a cancer survivor, or my brother-in-law's family that just had a horrendous car wreck last week (in which he lost a kidney) ... or even for my sweet Violet (who is officially now epileptic, btw).

McSwain said...

I like this! I have a lot of trouble sleeping too, especially when stressed. How is it that I have not thought to read or recite Scripture, which always seems to calm my spirit.

MAX Redline said...

I have trouble sleeping sometimes, especially when I get stressed. My brain starts running as soon as my head hits the pillow. Everything I needed to do that day or need to do later darts through my mind like a never ending list. The list scrolls on and on and I cannot relax to sleep.

I'm extremely fortunate in this regard: I generally fall asleep the second my head hits the pillow. This phenomenon tends to really tick my Bride off, as she has more difficulty getting to sleep.

The flip side: I wake early, generally before dawn. She sleeps in.

It's not a matter of stress, I think - we have the same things: mortgages, bills, jobs, all the stuff. It's just a matter of how it's dealt with. I'm able to let it go, and sleep immediately.

Gayle said...

I too, suffer the same problem. Everything spins through my head and I've found the only way to slow it down is to recite The Lord's Prayer. I have to admit that I'm usually asleep before I finish it, that's how calming of an effect it has on me. I think blogging keeps our minds just a wee bit over-active. Blessings, JGF! :)