Perhaps you have said your nightly prayers since you were small. Whether it be a prayer of gratefulness, concern for others, or a personal longing, saying a prayer before bed is a nightly practice that allows you to give God your worries before you rest.
A major reason adults lose sleep is due to the amount of stress in their day to day life. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 7 out of 10 adults experience negative stress daily, and it affects their sleeping habits. Learning how to lean on God for help with your stress and your worries can help lift the stress out of your mind. Turning your troubles over to God or asking God for ways to deal with stress can significantly help your stress levels as well as improve your sleep.
The following are some practices you can use to prepare for bed so you will have a peaceful night of quality rest.
Try to make sure that you have a consistent nightly routine. Get ready for bed, practice mindful meditation, say your prayers, and as you begin to wind down for the night, you will be training your mind and body to do the same. It will take some time and effort on your part, but if you can ask God for the focus and steadfastness to stick to your routine, you will be getting better, more consistent sleep in no time. You can make any of the following helpful practices a part of your nightly routine.
Improving Your Sleep with Prayer
Religious people tend to be more social, yet they also tend to worry. According to Huffington Post, people who have a strong religious upbringing have a religious identity which affects their behavior and the entire being of who the person is. These aspects of their lives serve them well when it comes to longevity. Overall, those who pray each day tend to live longer than those who do not. Chances are, they will sleep better as well.
While you may already be praying for better sleep, some additional spiritual practices can also improve your sleep. While praying for better sleep, pray for help to find techniques to sleep better or for the motivation and strength to stick to a nightly routine. One technique I started using was meditating half an hour before I wanted to go to bed.
What are the Best Prayers to Use for Sleep?
While we each have our own relationship with the Lord, there are several different prayers you can use to ask God for sleep. According to Aleteia.org, one of the best ways to get a great night’s rest is to once again claim inner peace and unite your heart with God. On their article, they include a helpful prayer to use before bed. While there are different prayers, short or long, saying or thinking words you find meaningful to God will allow your heart and mind to empty of stress and worry and be filled with peace and calm.
Find a prayer that means the most to you and your relationship with the Lord. You may choose to use the same one each night as a part of your ‘going to sleep’ routine, or you can choose to say a different prayer, depending on your personal needs or the day you have had.
Mindful meditation can allow you to relax and release your burden or worries over to God. Focusing on your closeness with God and turning all your fears, worries, or anxieties over to him before bed will enable you to fully relax and take your mind to a calmer place. When you are relaxed and calm, and your mind is not overreacting, you will be able to achieve sleep faster.
Another practice that promotes better sleep is the act of Lectio Divina, a Latin phrase meaning Divine Reading, which includes reading Scriptures and meditating on them, as well as praying to further promote your communion with God. Lectio Divina will also help to increase your knowledge and understanding of God’s word. Those who practice Lectio Divina do not see the religious texts as something only to be studied, but something to be lived. Bringing yourself closer to God each day can allow you to live a more calm and peaceful life.
Furthermore, going alongside Lectio Divina, make sure to cultivate a healthy holy imagination. In order to do this, you must be prepared and willing to respond to God on His terms. Allowing your mind and heart to be open, honest, and willing to see what God wants to show you is what Holy Imagination is all about. Set down your worries and ask Him to reveal Himself to you. Be ready to take comfort and delight in Him!
Use Essential Oils
God created things in nature that can help us! Essential oils such as lavender or chamomile can allow you to feel calm. Whether you want to place a few drops directly onto your wrists or on your temples or use an air diffuser if your skin is sensitive, deeply breathing in the essential oils will bring you a stress-free sense of calm.
What Else Can I Do to Relieve Stress and Sleep Better?
Besides mindful meditation and prayers, you can use other techniques to combat stress during the day. This way, when the time comes for sleep, you are not feeling as stressed out.
Practice a Hobby
Talk to God about finding a hobby or an activity you can enjoy each day. Take time to indulge in this activity regularly and be mindful to simply enjoy it. Whether you are taking time in nature, reading the bible, walking your dog, taking a class, or learning a new skill, make sure the time you have dedicated to your hobby is all about that: the hobby. Staying busy with an activity you enjoy will help you to take your mind off stressful things as well as make you feel more tired at the end of the day.
Get Plenty of Exercise
Make sure you are getting plenty of exercise. Taking care of your health and working up a sweat through exercise can improve your mood and decrease your stress levels, as well as expend energy and make you more able to sleep.
The Final Word
No matter which avenue you choose to decrease your stress and improve your sleep, always remember that God is by your side and there to give you the help you need. Call upon the Lord, and He will be there to guide you.
Do you have a certain prayer or practice you use to help you sleep? If so, comment below and let us know how you turn to God for sleep and for longevity!
Sarah Jones is a guest blogger from the site, sleepydeep.com, a hub for all things sleep-related. Thank you for your contribution, Sarah!