How Can the Christian Faith Help You Sleep Better at Night?
Around 40% of Americans sleep less than the required seven hours per night, according to a Gallup poll, and this spells bad news for their health. Poor sleep is linked to everything from obesity to heart disease and Type 2 diabetes, so if you want to live long and happily, giving sleep the priority it deserves is key. There are many keys to good quality sleep, including comfort, stress relief, and, if you are Christian, prayer and worship. Your faith can help you weather stressors in life with greater resilience, thereby putting you in the right frame of mind at bedtime.
How does Faith Keep us Happier?
One of the biggest reasons why we don’t get a good night’s sleep is stress. According to a recent Bankrate survey, around 69% of Americans said that they lose sleep owing to worry about issues like relationships and money. Jesus often reminded his followers that worrying about our future has no place in a life led by faith. As noted in Matthew 6:25-54, we should not worry about our life, what we will eat or drink, or wear… “Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?” asks the passage. In addition to having faith per se, communal worship can also keep us in a more positive state. Studies have shown that religious worship is the only community activity linked with long-standing happiness; isn’t this a powerful thought?
Giving Faith a Hand
Prayer can help put is in the right frame of mind, but it is important to take practical steps to improve our nightly sleep. The aim is not only to sleep the full seven hours, but also to do so comfortably, so that we are able to enter into the restorative stage of deep sleep (during deep sleep we create Human Growth Hormone, which is key to building muscle mass, boosting metabolism, and burning fat). To avoid tossing, turning, and waking up frequently during the night, make sure your bed is comfortable. Your mattress should support your body’s main pressure points. If you have back or neck pain, a topper may provide extra relief. Choose a soft, hypoallergenic, responsive topper to help prevent spinal and other problems.
Creating a Quiet Resting Space
“The whole earth is at rest and is quiet. They break forth into shouts of joy.” Isaiah 14:7 very much hits the nail on the head by pointing out the connection between silence and joy. To sleep in line with the body’s natural circadian rhythms, it is important for your bedroom to be completely dark and cool. If light gets into your room at night, use blackout curtains. If needs be, invest in soundproofing so that noises don’t wake you out of a peaceful slumber.
In order to give your best self to your family, friends, and religious community, it is important to wake up feeling refreshed - and that means getting enough good quality sleep every night. Aim to create a quiet, calm bedroom, and use prayer and progressive muscle relaxation techniques to fall asleep quickly. In your daily life, give communal worship the priority it deserves, so you can avoid worrying at night; when your faith is strong, you know that God will always take care of you.
Guest article by Jane Graham