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Erica Galindo
Celebrating Food, Faith and Family
Last edited on: January 8, 2015.

If busy women are to maintain their sanity they must, must, MUST have enough of this one thing that they are not physically capable of making happen!

I can make myself get back to the gym; even if I don’t want to.   I can make myself eat less or eat more slowly.  I can make myself get up an hour earlier.   But I can’t make myself do this thing.  Oh woe!

SLEEP! What every busy woman needs.

Sleep.  We can’t live without it and we can’t MAKE it happen.

Who has not awakened to the 3:00 AM Gremlins who bring with them stress-filled thoughts, worry about tasks left undone, dark thoughts, unresolved relationship issues.

King David said:  “On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.” Ps. 63:6-8

If only it were that easy.

The definition of insomnia is the inability to sleep — either difficulty getting to sleep, waking lots during the night or waking up too early in the morning.

This article will deal with occasional insomnia which comes and goes depending on what is going on in your life.    The other long term types of sleeplessness may require a consult with your doctor.

According to Stanford Sleep Center physicians, about 75 percent of people with insomnia can identify a specific cause of their insomnia. One of the most common causes is stress, often related to family or work situations. Poor sleep is a common reaction to stress in any form.

Certain medications and commonly used substances can disrupt sleep. These include the following:

  • Caffeine, nicotine, and other stimulants
  • Alcohol or other sedatives that wear off in the middle of the night.  A night-cap will not help.  Resist!
  • Some asthma medications (e.g. theophylline)
  • Some decongestants and allergy and cold medicines

Worry about sleep is another common reaction to having difficulty sleeping. After a period of not sleeping well, you may find that you start worrying about whether you’ll struggle to sleep in the coming night. Then you can begin to worry about how insufficient sleep will negatively affect you the next day. Such worries, though understandable, are counterproductive and end up making it even more difficult to fall asleep.

The common remedy to insomnia is to get out of bed and busy yourself with reading or some other quiet mundane task until you feel sleepy and return to bed.

That might work for some, but not for all.  It doesn’t work for me!

Years ago I came across a plan to deal with my own episodic sleep problems.

What to do with your body:

  • Do not get out of bed.  Unless you need to use the bathroom.  Return immediately.   When you get up keep your eyes squinted to discourage any light entering.
  • Do not turn on any bright lights.   Have night lights strategically placed so you can get around in the dark without any additional illumination.   If your little brain guys see bright light they start jumping around yelling, “Yipee, yippee.  It’s morning.  Let’s play!”  Do not encourage any brain activity.
  • If you have a mental flash regarding something you have remembered or a catchy title for your next blog – invest in a LED pen with a lighted tip.  This will allow you to jot down notes without gaining the attention of the brain guys or bothering your spouse.
  • Cover you clocks.  Do not seek to know the time.   Otherwise you will be saying, “Oh, it’s 3:10.  Oh, now it’s 3:42.  Oh, good grief it 4:20.  Oh, I’m going to be so tired tomorrow.”  Knowing the time during one of these sleepless episodes is not helpful.  NOT HELPFUL!  Keep this in mind.
  • Studies have shown that if you lie quietly with your eyes closed,  not looking at the clock, and  NOT thrashing around, you can actually reclaim 67% of the rest you would have gotten had you been asleep.
  • Tell yourself, “I may not be sleeping but I am still storing up rest for tomorrow.  I will lie quietly until I fall back asleep.  This will be OK.”

What to do with your mind:

  • Sing praise songs to yourself.
  • Praise God through the alphabet;   “Father you are A = Abba, Annointed, the Alpha and the Omega …    B = the Bread of Life, Beloved, …    C = the Comforter, the Counselor, the Christ,  the Creator ….   D = the Door, my Deliverer, Divine ….    E = Emmanuel etc.
  • Repeat the name of Jesus to yourself over and over.
  • Occupy your mind with something soothing and repetitive.  When I begin problem solving, I say, “Carolyn, you can deal with that tomorrow,” and go back to something calming.

Memorizing and repeating the sleep scriptures can be peaceful and encouraging.  God knows and God cares.  Turn your attention to Him.  That’s always of good use of those dark hours and keeps the gremlins away.

Prov. 3:23, 24   Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble;
when you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.

Prov. 6:20-22   My son, keep your father’s commands and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.
Bind them upon your heart forever; fasten them around your neck.
When you walk, they will guide you; when you sleep,
they will watch over you; when you awake, they will speak to you.

Ps. 63:6-8  On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night.
Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.
My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.



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4 Responses

  1. Susan Fleming

    What a great article, Carolyn! I see my problem now. It’s those brain guys. No more middle of the night light for them!! They can just save their yipees for morning.


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