“Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer. O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame? how long will ye love vanity, and seek after leasing? Selah. But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the LORD will hear when I call unto him. Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah. Offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put your trust in the LORD. There be many that say, Who will shew us any good? LORD, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us. Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased. I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.” (Psa. 4:1-8)
A good night’s sleep is a wonderful thing and yet so often we toss and turn and have a restless sleep and wake up feeling drowsy and out of sorts. Of course resting in the Lord does give us peace of mind and peace of spirit but depending on what is going on in our body and mind we often do not get a good night’s sleep. There are many reasons for waking up in the night and I found a list recently on the internet that gives some reasons why we do wake up during the night. Here is the website.
I am listing them here in a shortened version:
- We may have to go to the bathroom. Try to avoid liquids late at night or maybe you have had too much water and your electrolytes are off. Drink a small amount of water with a pinch of unprocessed salt about 30 minutes before bed. The water helps get the salt into your cells.
- Room may be too hot. Ideally it should be between 60 and 65 degrees F.
- Mild depression. Check to makes sure there is not a medical reason for this.
- Our online addition. Twitter, Instagram, internet, etc. Leave your electronic devices alone for at least 1 hour before bed.
- Getting Older. Around 40 your body clock begins to shift and although we still may go to bed at the same time, we start waking up earlier and therefore we are not getting enough sleep. Go to bed earlier and you will probably fall asleep right away.
- If you drink alcohol, make sure you don’t have a drink a few hours before going to bed to give your body time to metabolize the alcohol.
- Breathing problems. Some breathing problems can be solved by lying on your side but some such as deviated septum, nasal polyps, large tonsils, or an overly large tongue cannot. It may be good to see an ear, nose and throat specialist.
- Sleep Apnea. Usually affects overweight men but also affect women as they get older. Snoring is an indicator for men but is less common in women. They’re more likely to develop symptoms related to being sleep deprived, such as difficulty thinking of the right word, clumsiness, fatigue, depression, or anxiety.
- Thyroid problems. An overactive and underactive thyroid can cause many health issues. Your doctor should check your thyroid with a blood test: TSH, including free T4, free T3, reverse T3, and thyroid antibodies.
- Stress. Prayer and relaxation techniques can help, but also lifestyle changes may be needed.
- Acid Reflux. Try eating smaller meals, not eating late at night and losing weight.
- Being a caregiver. From personal experience I know this can be a very stressful time. Here is just one suggestion to help, taking chamomile supplements may soothe stress as well. In one study, patients with generalized anxiety disorder who took supplements with 220 milligrams of German chamomile extract for 8 weeks saw a significant decrease in anxiety. If you’re not into popping pills, simply sipping chamomile tea may be enough to help you unwind.
- Excess belly fat. Your body has to work harder to breathe when you lie down. It can also cause higher levels of inflammation in the body which can disrupt the neurological pathways that control sleep.
- Vitamin D deficiency. Research shows that more than 40 percent of U.S. adults have a vitamin D deficiency, a problem that’s linked to cardiovascular disease, cancer, and weaker bones, as well as poor sleep. Research from Harvard School of Public Health found that 12 percent of people with low levels of D slept for less than 5 hours a night, and 57 percent were awake for 90 or more minutes in the middle of the night. The findings aren’t surprising considering that vitamin D seems to have a direct effect on parts of your brain that play a role in sleep, says Michael Breus, PhD, clinical psychologist and diplomat of the American Board of Sleep Medicine. Your body produces vitamin D when your skin is directly exposed to the sun, but you can’t always get your daily value of 600 international units (IU) that way-especially in the winter or if your skin is darkly pigmented. If you’re deficient, which your doctor can determine with a blood test, you can boost your levels by eating foods rich in vitamin D, like fatty fish, eggs, and fortified milk or orange juice. But since most people get only 144 to 276 IU a day through diet, a supplement may be necessary. Breus advises his patients to take 1,000 IU of D a day, as well as 500 mg of magnesium at night to boost absorption of the vitamin.
I hope these suggestions may be of some use to you and I certainly do wish you a good night’s sleep resting in the Lord. “Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble. When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet. Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh. (Prov. 3:23-25)