SLEEPLESSNESS: Stop and try this four-step way to fall asleep

By Sally Tippett Rains

A lot is going on and while we may be angry and/or fearful– or both depending on what time of day it is– engaging in the negative that is going on will not help us. If there is something positive we can do to help then by all means we should do it, but most of us just need to be the change we hope for.

See all people in love. That is the most powerful thing we can do. That will help us keep wearing our mask and maintaining our social distance to protect others as well as ourselves because we are in the midst of a pandemic. AND…  Treat people with the respect that we would want, regardless of views, race, or whatever it is that we may think separates us from others. See all people in love, that’s the answer to most of the problems we are faced with.

Another big problem, many people are having right now is getting to sleep with all that is going on. When you are all panicked (the “damn panic from the pandemic” coupled with the “fear-fest from the protests”) as you head to bed, it’s hard to calm down and sleep. Your mind keeps running. God’s peace can help you but in times like these, we sometimes don’t even think of God, we just get so overwhelmed with our own thoughts.

Well here’s a sure-fire way to calm yourself down and help you get to sleep.

Think “STOP”  (Settle, Thankful, Others, Petition) in order to settle your mind as you lay in bed trying to sleep. When our mind is moving so fast it’s often difficult to try to rein in the peace we desperately need, so the act of trying to pray in order can help. Then you move into these steps:

  1. Settle your mind. Open your mind to peace.
  2. Thankful. Thank God for your blessings.
  3. Others. Say prayers for loved ones.
  4. Petition the Lord your intentions

STOP way to sleepHow to do the Four-step Prayer Method

1. Say to yourself “STOP it’s time to Settle down.” And then go into the three areas of prayer.

2. Start out with Thanking God for all your blessings.  “Dear Lord I am thankful for…” and then list all you are thankful for. Always first on my list is the weather because usually, no matter what the weather is, I am thankful for God in nature. Then I thank Him for my husband, my home, my sound mind that I am able to lay there and pray. Once you get started you will think of many things you are thankful for.

And by the way, clearly defining these areas of prayer helps keep you on track. Sometimes when our mind is going so fast it’s hard to get it to quiet down so the act of doing specific prayers centers you.

3. Think about Others: Your family and friends who you want to pray God’s blessings on. “Lord please bless these people and keep them safe…my husband, my parents, my children”– whoever it is you want to mention.

I realize you are in the middle of a panic, but forcing yourself to stop and  thank God for your blessings and then praying for others helps divert your mind from the chaos.

4. Petition. You know all those times you say “I’ll pray for you” — well here is the time you do it. During the Petition part you think of all the things you want to pray for.  I always start with what my problem is, “Dear Lord, please help me sleep, I’m nervous about the unrest going on, I’m worried about the COVID-19 virus. Please calm my mind.” And then add other things you want to pray for. (“Please heal so-and-so from their disease, please help my children to see…”)  Do you have friends with special concerns you want to pray for? Illness, family problems, whatever. I call them my “intentions” as in who I intend to pray for. Some churches have “intentions” which are prayers for things of great importance to the community or church; my intentions are important to me. Now is the time to pray for yourself and others, naming specific things you are praying for.

A petition is when you make or present a formal request to an authority with respect to a particular cause. In prayer, a petition is praying specifically to God. “I am petitioning God for courage and strength.”

Once you have done the above four things,  you are engaged with God; and you may not even realize it but as you pray, you will begin to feel better. You will feel God’s peace. This is why it’s called “the peace that passes all understanding.” You can’t understand how it happens but when we ask God to help us and we expect Him to be there, He is.

If your mind begins to wander back to worry, say something calming to yourself like “It is well with my soul” or “Peace be Still” or the Bible verse mentioned below. Believe that our Lord and Savior will be with you. Sweet dreams.

EllyThat’s all for today. Try it tonight if you can’t sleep –or even in the afternoon if you get upset or tired and need to take a nap. I pray for peace in your heart and mind. Peace like Elly, shown left, has. She doesn’t let things (except thunderstorms) bother her. I thought it was funny that she climbed up on the couch and rested next to a pillow with a quote from “It’s A Wonderful Life.” Being able to relax and go to sleep can go a long way to help you have a wonderful life.

I’d love to hear back from you if you tried these things and got some sleep.

Bible Verse:

We have a lot of verses for you today in hopes that if you read them one will come to you in your time of need.

“For His anger is but for a moment, and His favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.” — Psalm 30:5

“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”— Philippians 4:7

“He will keep in perfect peace, all who trust Him, whose thoughts turn often to the Lord.”  — Isaiah 26:3

“Peace I leave with you. My Peace I give you.I do not give it to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”   –John 14:27

“I will never leave you nor forsake you.”   –Hebrews 13:5

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

“I lay down and slept; I woke again, for the Lord sustained me.”  — Psalm 3:5


“It is a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it.”  — John Steinbeck

No matter what your problems are you can see them in a different way, in a more calm and reasonable way after a sound sleep.

Action Plan:

This one isn’t about action, it’s about resting, relaxing, being peaceful and going to sleep. If you can’t sleep tonight I hope you will remember to STOP and quiet your mind.

One More Thought:

“He will keep in perfect peace, all who trust Him, whose thoughts turn often to the Lord.”  — Isaiah 26:3

If you can memorize one Bible verse, this could be one that may help you and stay with you forever. Memorizing this verse can be very useful when you are in times of trouble. Just bring it to mind and say it over and over.

I chose this paraphrased version that Naomi Judd mentioned in People Magazine years ago. She said she would say it over and over when overcome with fear from her illness diagnosis: “He will keep in perfect peace, all who trust Him, whose thoughts turn often to the Lord.”  — Isaiah 26:3

During a severe headache, say it over and over. During a sleepless night say it over and over. When worrying about a child or parent, say it over and over.

“He will keep in perfect peace, all who trust Him, whose thoughts turn often to the Lord.”  — Isaiah 26:3


Long suflowers

If you liked this, please subscribe to my blog. If you already subscribed, please know I wrote this for you and I prayed for every single one of you who will read this. We are not alone. God is with us and we are with each other—in our hearts. –STR

Choose Happy Find ContentmentSally Tippett Rains is the Volunteer Executive Director of Rainbows for Kids and the author of “Choose Happy; Find Contentment in Any Situation” Published by Peppertree Publishing, Sarasota, Florida, Distributed by BookBaby.

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