Can’t Fall Asleep? Try This!

I was lying in bed last night, eyes shut, but not asleep. You too? Did we have too much on our mind? Probably. Usually when we can’t fall asleep it’s because something is bugging us. We may not even realize it lurking under the surface. Let me show you how you can sleep peacefully, even when your life isn’t in perfect condition.

Whatever bugs us steals our peace. If you want a way to get to sleep, give this a shot. It works. After I did this, I slept through the night. Here’s my million-dollar advice to grab a good night’s rest:

Thank your way to sleep.

Huh?
Yeah, forget counting sheep. Count your blessings. Remember that old song…”Count your blessings, name them one by one…”

Why do this when you’re trying to fall asleep? Because when you do, you’ll see what The Lord has done.

Now, how’s that going to put you to sleep? Because, it will put you in peace.

When you focus on The Lord, and what he’s done for you and others, the natural by product is peace.

Many people over the years have asked me to pray that they will have peace when they are faced with a big hairy ordeal or a whammy of a problem. And hey, I can ask God to give them peace till they’re blue in the face, but they won’t get peace unless they do what God tells them to do to get peace.

What do we have to do for peace to settle upon us like a warm comfy blanket?

Focus baby. Focus!

On what? Focus on God. And one of the best ways to do that is to focus on what he’s given you.

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Isa 26:3 NLT

And what do you do when you would rather NOT focus on what God’s given you –like when you’re ticked off because he hasn’t given you what you’ve been asking for? (Let’s be real, we do that don’t we? Myself included!)

Again, here’s another piece of million-dollar advice: 

Force yourself to focus on past blessings. Yes, this is the only time I will suggest you look to the past! Look to years past (or just days past) so you can count your blessings – what The Lord has already done. Hey, even if you don’t feel like it – just go with it – you want to sleep don’t ya?!

This is how it looked for me last night:

  • God, thank you for that Starbucks coffee in my kitchen that I will thoroughly enjoy tomorrow morning (yep, my coffee is THAT high on my list.)
  • God, thank you for my health, I’m strong and in good shape.
  • And how I’m loving my Nike pink and black cross trainers, yay, God!
  • Thank you for the man that’s snoring beside me, he is such a great guy and I’m so glad he’s mine. (Yes, that man is my husband.)
  • Thank you for this marshmallow-like, memory foam mattress topper, which makes my bed so soft.
  • I’m so grateful for my two kids that love you and are on a mission to change the world.
  • Thank you, sweet Jesus that I have you.
  • I’m stoked about the project I completed today – thank you for your help.
  • Thank you for the speaking engagements that have been added to my calendar so I can bring hope to people all over the world.

See, I just kept rattling them off…no particular order…till I felt God’s peace.

And that peace put me to sleep.

Thankful Peaceful Sleepful picGive it a shot. Get over yourself. Get your thoughts on God. When you do, you will experience his peace falling on you like the warmth of a summer breeze.

Ahhh, nice huh?

I could go into all the boring details about what happens in your brain when you start recounting things for which you are thankful. But just know that focusing on things that you appreciate releases chemicals that will make you feel at peace and sleepy. Ok, physiology lesson over. (Isn’t God smart?!)

Now go to sleep. 🙂

Email me and let me know how this works for you. I’m just a few keystrokes away: DrLinda@lindatravelute.com.

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Exhausted? Tired of not being able to catch your breath? I know the feeling. But let me tell you, you were not meant to live like this. It’s time to get off that train. Hop off quick; it leads to stress and burnout. God made an escape for you in this harried, crazy mixed up world you live in. Come on, I’ll show you how to escape the madness and find the rest you need.

We will never begin to rest unless we believe it’s been given to us.

And that’s tough, because it works against our culture. It even works against the discipline and work ethic we’ve been trained to prize. I was raised to work hard, give it all I’ve got, and I did. Problem was, I gave so much in years past, I had nothing left. My physical and mental health suffered. So did my relationships with my husband and then, little boy.

How I got suckered into believing I had to wear myself out…

I was told that there’s no rest for the weary. You too? And how about this one: the early bird is the one who catches the worm. Because I swallowed that, my goals were to catch all the worms! And that I did! I became driven. Sometimes — too driven. Sleeping only 4 and 5 hours a night, working non-stop. No breaks. Even working on vacation. That my friends, is a set up for failure.

Busyness is a Badge of Stupidity

“Taking it easy” sounds so absurd in our culture. We’ve bought into the lie that busyness is a badge of honor. It’s not. Busyness is a badge of stupidity. If you don’t have time to get the rest you need to recharge your mind, soul, spirit, emotions, intellect, and relationships, you are going to break in one or more of those areas.

I’ve seen it over and over again. I’ve talked to top business executives, small business owners, doctors, pastors, stay-at-home-moms, even students. They wonder how they can keep up the pace. They’re running so fast they don’t have time to enjoy their life. And that’s not the way God designed us to live. He said he came to give us life more abundantly.

Abundance doesn’t come at the cost of running yourself ragged. You can’t enjoy an abundant life if you’re too tired to enjoy it.

Matthew 11:28-30

Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me– watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.

Even on our day off, we don’t get a day off.

What do you do on your day off? Work more? I bet you do. It’s called housework, mowing the lawn, running back and forth to soccer games and little league practice, tackling that honey-do-list, and on and on.

What else do you add to the list? Babysitting your grandchildren? Making goodies for the bake sale? Oh that’s fun. Yes, but sometimes it can be exhausting. Nothing wrong with giving of yourself…as long as you have enough of yourself to give.

The key is balance. A little of this, a little of that, and you will be spared the dull grind of weariness.

So go ahead, give yourself permission to rest today. Tomorrow. The next day. And the next day after that.

  1. Schedule down time in each day. (God did, at the end of the day; he paused and reflected on what he had done.)
  2. Schedule down time in each week. (God took 1 day off out of 7 too, setting a precedent for us to follow.)
  3. Schedule down time in each year. (This is the icing on the cake, go ahead, and enjoy it. You’ll be better for it!)

Your health, physical AND spiritual, depends on it. God didn’t design your body to work non-stop. He designed you to require rest. He not only gives you permission to rest, he commands it.

Exodus 20:8-12

Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Work six days and do everything you need to do. But the seventh day is a Sabbath to God, your God. Don’t do any work– not you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your servant, nor your maid, nor your animals, not even the foreign guest visiting in your town. For in six days God made Heaven, Earth, and sea, and everything in them; he rested on the seventh day. Therefore God blessed the Sabbath day; he set it apart as a holy day.

So give yourself a break.

You don’t rest when the work is done. You rest so you can get the work done.

Rest, and he’ll help you get the rest done!

 

How heavy is the load you’re carrying? Let me show you how to give God your heavy load and grab a lighter one instead.
When I was VERY pregnant, I’m talking hugely pregnant, going to the grocery store was a burden!
Pushing a cartload of groceries was hard work considering I was also carrying an extra 50lbs of fluids and baby.There was this one day in my ninth month of pregnancy that I will remember forever. I was bringing the groceries in from the car to the house. Knowing this was going to be a huge task, I popped the trunk and started plotting my strategy.
I was grabbing all of the heavy bags first so that I could come back and get the lighter bags.
Huffing and puffing, I made my way to the door with the two heaviest bags. Then out of the corner of my eye I saw my husband come around and I thought, “Cool, he’s going to help me!”Here’s my knight and shining armor to the rescue! Not so fast. What he did ticked me off! He went for all the light grocery bags like the napkins, paper towels, and toilet paper. What a stinker!

As you can imagine I am burning with anger and raging hormones. But what he did next surprised me. When he met me halfway, he said, “Stop, you take these lighter bags and let me take the heavy ones you have.” At that moment I felt so much love in my heart for that man! We exchanged loads and I was immediately relieved.

You have a knight in shining armor at your disposal too. One who’s ready to take your heavy load and give you a lighter one.

Jesus says in Matthew 11:28-30 (NCV)

Come to me, all of you who are tired and have heavy loads, and I will give you rest. Accept my teachings and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit, and you will find rest for your lives. The burden that I ask you to accept is easy; the load I give you to carry is light.

Jesus is more than willing to lighten your load but there’s a catch. Here’s what you need to do in order for this to happen:

You have to meet up with him in order to make the exchange. 

If you don’t connect with him he can’t take the heavy stuff off your hands. Then guess what?  You will be stuck carrying ALL the bags. No connection, no exchange. It’s that simple. You can’t exchange something with someone unless you make contact with them.

I know it’s difficult to put on the breaks and stop when you are going a hundred miles an hour. You’re carrying a lot of weight and have been for a while. And when you have been going at it non-stop for an extended period of time, it’s so stinking hard to wind down. Even when you do try to take a break your adrenaline is still racing. You may be sitting down physically, but you’re still running mentally!

So, how do you go about shifting into lower gear? If you are ready to hit your own little personal pause button so you and Jesus can make the exchange, this is how it works:

1. Get quiet. 

Get away from all the noise, people, and projects. Just pause. This is the only way you will quiet your soul enough to hear what God says. Let him speak to your inner man (or woman). As you do, He will refresh you. He will whisper things to you that you ache to hear. You can’t hear a whisper in a noisy room, can you? Get quiet so you can hear what He has to say.

And what will this sound like? Encouraging words, strength for the journey, and enlightenment. Without this personal pause-time, life will be unfocused and scattered. Settle down until your soul settles.

2. Wait until He refreshes you. 

I know it’s tough waiting for something. But don’t be in such a hurry to rush off. Hang around in God’s presence as long as you can. God has life giving stuff He wants to pour into you. Talk about an energy drink, this even tops coffee!

Remember what He said in the verse above, “accept my teachings and learn from me.” This is where He helps you evaluate everything you have been doing. He will press meaning into your performance. And when needed, He’ll show you a better way of going about your business that will ease the load. That’s refreshing! And know, He will NEVER leave you to figure out your problems on your own. (For more on that, read this post: Ever Feel Like God Has Left the Building? Why You Are Never Alone. )

Ready for the chaos and the world to stop around you? Me too! Relief is on the way. But don’t forget, we have to make contact with God in order to exchange our heavy load for His lighter one!