Why Your Body Might Be Crying Out for Sleep

Our bodies were created to need sleep and regular rest. Learn why this is important in the life of a Christian.

If you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet. Proverbs 3:24

I wasn’t paying much attention up until that point. 

But once the interviewer asked this dear old saint, “What’s the secret to godliness?” You can bet he had my full attention. I asked my husband to turn up the volume so I could hear the man’s soft answer, desperate to learn his secret.

And that’s when this wise octogenarian answered, “The key to godliness is . . . eight hours of sleep.”

I kid you not. 

As soon as I heard his reply, I started laughing until tears ran down my face. Soon after, those laughing tears turned into real crying ones. 

I eventually turned to my very concerned husband and blubbered, “See? No wonder I struggle with godliness!” 

For context, I was pregnant with our third child in four years. I could hardly remember the last time I had “eight hours of sleep” of any kind, let alone uninterrupted sleep. 

The Sweetness of Sleep

While I don’t think the elderly gentleman was entirely serious, he made an excellent point. At the very least, being kind, gentle, and patient is easier when you’re well-rested. (I didn’t say “easy,” but certainly easier.)

So where does that leave a mother who would later have five more children? That’s what I asked back then, and I still wonder, even though now only two children live at home (and they’re not little anymore!). 

Because getting enough sleep continues to be a struggle. And sound sleep? Even harder. 

And I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s a challenge for you, too. Maybe you’re a mother of young children, a worried mother of older children, a stressed employer or frustrated employee, or a weary caregiver for aging parents. 

Whatever your circumstances, sleep is a luxury few people feel they can afford. 

Simple Steps to Getting Better Sleep

While there are many physical steps you can take to get better sleep – such as shutting down electronics, dimming the lights, taking certain supportive supplements, etc. – it’s the spiritual steps I wanted to address today. 

Did you realize the Bible talks a lot about sleep? A quick word study will reveal how many times “sleep” or “rest” are mentioned. Certainly, it’s often enough that you’ll see that it’s not only a priority in these modern times but has always been part of God’s plan and desire for you. 

You need sleep and crave rest because this is God’s design for you. And if it’s part of His design, it only follows that it should be your priority, too. 

So what stands in your way of a good night’s sleep? 

Need for Self-Discipline: Let’s start with the obvious. Are you letting screen time or wasted time keep you from going to bed at a decent hour? Or do you try to pack too much into every day so that your need-to-do list consistently spills over into the evening? 

Try to shut everything off and stop doing all the things by 8:30 pm. Sound impossible? I bet if you do this for just one week, you’ll never want to go back. It can be life-changing. 

Release Pressures and Anxiety: Here’s my motto: No thinking before bedtime. Seriously. I might offer a short word of thankfulness for the day, but I refuse to use the quiet of the night to mull over all my (many) worries. If you find your heart too heavy even to sleep, “Cast all your cares upon Him because He cares for you” (I Peter 5:7). Then, leave them in His loving hands. 

Accepting Life Circumstances: Now, about those seasons when adequate sleep is literally impossible. I feel you. I’ve had many years where it would’ve been sheer frustration if I’d “demanded” my sleep. 

Instead, I had to surrender my “right to sleep” and rely on the Lord in ways I never thought possible. And, believe it or not, those were sweet times. Hard but sweet. 

If this is where you’re at, ask God to be your strength and to make the most of the few hours you did get. I’ve tearfully prayed that prayer more times than I can count. 

In His Word

It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep. Psalm 127:2

In Your Life

Rather than resigning yourself to a sleep-deprived life, look at your daily habits and see if there are any steps you can take to prioritize sleep. 

Ask your husband or a good friend if they have any helpful suggestions on how you can achieve more rest. Often, we cling to things we think we “have” to do or put up with when there are actually other better ways. 

Above all, ask God to help you pursue and embrace the rest He intends for you!

We Recommend

One of my top books in 2024 is this new release from Sara Hagerty—The Gift of Limitations: Finding Beauty in Your Boundaries. It’s quickly become my favorite book of hers (and that’s saying A LOT!). So powerful and encouraging. I highly recommend it!! 

Let’s Connect

You can hear more from Lisa on growing in faith and enjoying an everyday, joy-filled life here. You can also connect with Lisa on Instagram for biblical encouragement!