Psalm 4:8--"In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O LORD, will keep me safe" (NLT)
"Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep;
If I should die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take."--New England Primer
Sleep...elusive sleep. That simple, wonderful restorer of life is becoming more and more rare in our society. As a result, more diseases are attacking more people of all ages. Bodies are unable to successfully perform and keep themselves in good health when such a large part of restorative health is missing.
Simply put, we surely need our sleep.
Kathy Gruver, PhD., writes in an article entitled "The Disruptive Nature of Chronic Stress" (Well Being Journal, May/June 2013) that we have become so stressed on a daily basis that this stress now never leaves us and creeps into our precious hours of sleep. When stress takes over our sleep, it takes over our dreams. Our dreams become more and more vivid and memorable. When we wake up feeling more tired than we did when we exhaustively fell into bed the night before, stress has won out and the body suffers further damage.
How did we get to this point?
Perhaps we got away from the simple, yet profound prayer taught to us as little kids. "Now I lay me down to sleep...I pray the Lord my soul to keep...if I should die before I wake...I pray the Lord my soul to take". Maybe if more of us started saying this prayer at night again, we would discover that the troubles of the world can stay with the world, allowing us to drift into blessed, restorative sleep. This little prayer said at night once we're ready to truly rest, is a true testament to our faith that all is truly in the Lord's hands.
So, tonight, when the lights are out and the day is done, take some long, deep breaths and try this little prayer. And remember, "In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O LORD, will keep me safe".
Peace be with you.