I’m not sure at what age I learned that having two to three glasses of wine at night was enough to get me to fall asleep. I think it was early, like in my teens, after my non-drinking parents divorced and then remarried spouses that drank. Dinners with my new “families” included alcohol, and even though I was 16 or 17, I had my own wine glass. It made me feel like I belonged and that I had no problems. Cheers to me!
Unfortunately, I did have problems, and somehow the middle of the night was when my mind decided it would be the best time to start a checklist. For years, I had this pattern of using something over and over again because it worked to solve a problem in the short run. I would always forget that it doesn’t really solve the problem, it just makes it go away for a while. Often, there was an added side effect which created another problem.
It wasn’t until I learned to use guided Christian meditation that I discovered it was the thing that got me to calm down and fall into a deep sleep. I didn’t wake up in the middle of the night ready to work on my problems.
I no longer had to experiment with sleeping aids or natural herbs, which gave me the side effect of being tired and foggy the next day. It was a small yet welcome miracle. One problem down, many to go.
Christian guided meditation took me from my own mind full of worries, doubts, confusion, and problems to a new space where my burdens momentarily left me as I entered into what Jesus called the Kingdom of Heaven. As promised in the Bible, I could rest here. It was a peaceful and hopeful space.
Here are ways Christian guided meditation can help you.
Christian meditation cures insomnia.
I wish I would have found Christian guided meditation earlier in my life, during those times when I had insomnia off and on. Any major change and disruption in my life would cause the same reaction I had as a teenager when my parents divorced and everything changed.
Any big change for me created a reaction of fear. It was as if my soul perceived danger by the way I was erratically acting; moving around too much, staying up late, and eating and drinking too much or too little. I reacted to my own reaction by defaulting into, “There’s no time to sleep! Danger is near!”
Insomnia is often a reaction to stress. Stress comes from change. Stress and change together can cause erratic behavior. Our mind can perceive our erratic fearful actions as life threatening.
Since it’s the job of our mind to solve problems, it won’t stop trying to figure out the problem until we act like there’s no problem or we fix the problem. Our mind takes cues from the senses in our body.
Christian guided meditation for insomnia cues you to stop and lie down. It encourages you to slow your breathing and relax. The act of relaxing relays a message to your brain that all is well. After all, who relaxes in the middle of a life threatening situation?
Erratic behavior and poor eating habits can alert the mind to think in survival mode. It’s survival of the fittest, my food supply is iffy, my body is stressed, perhaps there’s a lion stalking me. This is no time to sleep!
Besides the encouragement to relax, the words of comfort that we have a God who’s helping us, protecting us, and is actually right there with us in every moment if we need more help further relaxes us. The impartation of these new thoughts into our mind can cause us to feel safe enough to surrender and calm down. In order to fall asleep, we must be calm, not riddled with movement and anxiety.
Relieve stress with Christian meditation for better sleep.
Stress is caused by anything we perceive as a demand too great for our current capability. Sometimes we create our own stress in the way we react to the demands and changes in our lives.
So, how can you respond to stress to ensure better sleep?
I call it rest-management, instead of stress-management. A good night’s sleep requires a progressive state of restfulness as the night approaches. Rest allows us to settle our body down, which allows the mind to settle down, too.
How can you begin to rest as the day goes on instead of getting amped up and fragmented?
Christian meditations are available all day long. In the evening around sunset is a good time to create a natural rhythm of slowing down. It might seem like it’s too early to start the wind down process, but it doesn’t mean there’s not more productive time ahead. Take a 20-minute rest, listen to a meditation, some music, or watch a sunset.
Taking the time to do something that feeds our body, soul, and spirit with restfulness and peace provides feedback to our nervous system that will alert the brain that we’re safe, and it’s time to take a break between the day and the night.
Where do our problems originate anyway?
In our minds. Christian meditation takes us out of our mind and into our hearts. Studies show functioning from the mind without the heart’s input can cause stress and heart problems.
When we’re stressed, we need to protect our hearts. In the Bible, we’re reminded that God’s Spirit, Christ, works through our hearts. “The Spirit of God is poured into our hearts as Love.” (Romans 5:5)
The peace and calm we seek is located in our own heart. In a Christian-guided meditation for better sleep, we’re directed to pay attention to God’s presence in our heart. This movement of attention out of our own mind and into our heart is another way to practice rest management.
We begin to rest in the very heart of Christ. Our mind naturally calms down as we establish a harmonious relationship with Him. The final question is: how can you do this, too?
7 Guided Christian Meditation Techniques for Sleep
There are seven techniques you can use to create a guided Christian meditation practice that will help you sleep better at night. They are as follows.
- Establish an evening routine. Get comfortable. Put on your comfy clothes. Do a bedtime routine — brush your teeth, wash your face, put away your social media, etc. Dim the lights. Find a comfortable place to rest or sleep.
- Become horizontal. Turn your attention to your breath. Imagine the breath as God’s Spirit flowing in and out of your heart as love. Begin to relax deeply. Take a deep breath all the way into your belly. Let it out with a big sigh.
- Begin to think about things you are thankful for. For example, use this time right now to spend with God’s Presence. Start your Christ-centered meditation, one with nice meditative music and a person’s voice that resonates with you. Set the volume to the perfect amount of sound, not too loud or soft.
- As you listen to the guided relaxation meditation, continue to seek sleep and relaxation. Do a body scan to see where you may be holding tension. Think about your feet, your neck, your face, or jaw. Continue to slowly breathe into your belly.
- Don’t judge your thoughts. When a thought pops up that seems negative or is a problem, just witness the thought without judgment and return your attention to the love in your heart. At this moment, you’re safe. Feel what peace that brings to you. God loves you. Feel what hope and strength this brings you.
- Give your burdensome thoughts or feelings to God.
- Ask God to help you in one or two of the areas in your life where you feel the need for the most help.
Remind yourself your work for the day is complete. God and His angels are watching over you and have heard your prayers, and it’s time to have a restful sleep.
Also remember the thoughts in our mind are not always true. They’re storage from input that comes from our environment, just like a computer hard drive. We don’t always have to believe or analyze all of our thoughts.
We can learn to listen to the thoughts of God found throughout the Bible:
“Peace be with you, peace be in you. I am here with you, I will never leave you. I have defeated all darkness, there is nothing to worry about. My Father and His Angels are protecting you. Leave all your problems at my feet, and I will help you.”
Christian meditation helped me overcome insomnia, and it can help you too.
You can learn, as I did, to seek deeper truths and let go of old ways of coping. This may help you in the short run. However, you may still wake up in the middle of the night with anxiety or insomnia. That’s where Christ can help.
I imagine Christ standing tall and surrounded by little boxes filled with my problems. He has a bright white light beaming from His heart, like a surgeon with a laser He cuts the boxes into little manageable pieces. He is smiling. I think I must be dreaming. I’m smiling and in a deep, deep sleep.
Then, in the morning I wonder, where did all my problems go?
Tonyah Dee has studied the Bible and wisdom traditions of the world for the last 30 years and teaches about finding ways to increase inner strength, stability, and confidence through practicing spiritual disciplines and healthy habits daily. Tonyah is a nutritionist, registered dietitian (R.D.), and earned her B.S. from Loma Linda University. She also holds certifications in Christ-centered life coaching, equine therapy, and meditation. Tonyah has been published in Scary Mommy, MSN, The Mighty, Mantra Wellness, CoveyClub, Thrive Global. Follow Tonyah on her blog, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Medium.