The Spiritual Reasons Behind Sleeplessness

Inability to Sleep
Insomnia (Inability to Sleep) Article 20 in the TruLight Radio XM Healing Articles called “The Doctor Says – The Bible Says” by Dr. Michelle Strydom MD.

Insomnia is our perception of poor quality of sleep because we have difficulty falling asleep, we wake up frequently during the night, we wake up too early or we feel un-refreshed after sleep. When we are deprived of sleep, we cannot function properly and our health deteriorates. Lack of sleep causes tiredness, difficulty in concentrating, lack of energy, irritability, muscle pain (fibromyalgia) and predisposes us to infections by weakening our immune system. There are many medical conditions that can cause insomnia, especially those that cause pain for example arthritis or problems with breathing such as asthma, heart failure and sleep apnea. Poor sleep can also be a result of hyperthyroidism, kidney failure, Parkinson’s disease, depression and mania in bipolar disorder. When the spiritual roots behind those diseases are dealt with, the disease along with insomnia will fall away.

A disturbance in the sleep-wake cycle commonly develops with jet lag and in shift workers or somebody who has a continually disrupted sleep/wake schedule. This is not abnormal, and with the practice of good sleep hygiene (explained on the following page), it should normalize after a short period of time. Alcoholism, drug abuse, smoking before bedtime and excessive caffeine intake will have adverse effects on quality of sleep.

There are also several drugs that have insomnia as a side effect such as appetite suppressants, Ritalin, steroids, drugs used to treat asthma and some drugs that are used to treat high blood pressure. If you are taking chronic medication – have a look at the package insert or speak to your local pharmacist to find out if insomnia is a possible side effect.

Apart from the above scenarios, insomnia is a recognized fear, anxiety and stress disorder. Remember the hypothalamus is the area in your brain that converts everything that is going on in your thought life into a physical reaction – it is the centre of the mind-body connection. It also controls sleep and wake patterns. When there is fear, anxiety and stress in your thought life, the hypothalamus responds to this emotional and spiritual conflict by stimulating an area in your brain called your reticular activating system that wakes you up. This is why stressful life events such as tragedy, breaches in relationships, strife, abuse, victimization, unrest, worrying about the future, fears and so on are enough to keep you awake at night. After the initial stressful event that causes the insomnia, some people become pre-occupied with lack of sleep where they fear trying to get to sleep, expect to have difficulty sleeping and worry about it. Fear Insomnia is a recognized fear, anxiety and stress disorder. of not being able to sleep will only compound the problem and cause the vicious cycle to perpetuate. Fear can set in motion the very thing that we are afraid of.

Job 3 v 25: “For the thing which I greatly feared has come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.” You cannot sleep at night because you are not at peace with God, yourself and/or others. You may not be at peace with God, simply because you are not obeying Him – you are not doing what He has called you to do. You may not be at peace with yourself because you have conflict with yourself over an issue.

For example you are carrying guilt and condemnation and you won’t forgive yourself for what you did in 1963. One of the devil’s greatest tools to make us feel bad about ourselves is condemnation. How many “could have”, “would have”, “should have”, “if only” statements have you made today? These are guilt statements and thoughts that are full of condemnation. How many times have you replayed in your head a conversation or a situation that pained you or one that hasn’t even occurred yet? When you think like this you waste precious time building up a toxic thought that releases chemicals that put your body into a toxic state of stress which will inhibit the way in which you function. This not only robs you of your sleep, but can cause many other diseases.

Romans 8 v 33 – 34: “Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect [when it is] God Who justifies [that is, Who puts us in right relation to Himself? Who shall come forward and accuse or impeach those whom God has chosen? Will God, Who aquits us?] Who is there to condemn [us]?
Will Christ Jesus (the Messiah), Who died, or rather Who was raised from the dead, Who is at the right hand of God actually pleading as He intercedes for us?” Romans 8 v 1: “Therefore [there is] now no condemnation (no adjudging guilty of wrong) for those who are in Christ Jesus, who live [and] walk not after the dictates of the flesh, but after the dictates of the Spirit.” Many people who love God and are serving Him, are tormented by negative thinking about themselves.

They think that God must be so disappointed and angry with them for all their failures and shortcomings. How much time do you waste living under guilt and condemnation? I purposely said how much time is wasted because that is precisely what that kind of thinking is – a waste of time. Every time the devil brings a condemning thought to your mind, quote Romans 8 v 1 to him and tell him to take his condemnation and “Hit the road Jack!” In order to be free from guilt and condemnation, you not only need to receive forgiveness from God, but you need to forgive yourself. You need to stop hitting yourself over the head with something that God has forgiven and forgotten (Hebrews 10 v 17). This does not mean that you are perfect and will never mess up again, it just means that you can go on with your life without being weighed down with a constant burden of guilt and condemnation for what happened in the past. As long as you have repented from the heart and your heart is right with God and you are doing the best that you can, you can stay out from under the burden of guilt. God is more interested in your heart than what you do. He knows that when your heart is right toward Him, your actions will eventually come in line with His will.

If you are struggling with guilt and unforgiveness towards yourself, I recommend that you read through “The Day Sanctification Begins” because the teaching in that section will greatly help you in this area. Those feelings of unforgiveness that you have towards yourself aren’t even your thoughts and feelings anyway. It is an accusing spirit (Relations 12 v 10) of self-hatred and self-rejection that accuses you to yourself with thoughts in the first person – you believed its lies and you’ve made it part of your thinking as if it was you. Remember your battle is not with flesh and blood (Ephesians 6 v 12) and therefore your battle is not with yourself. You have a medical need to forgive yourself because the diseases that come from self-hatred and guilt lead to death and it is just not worth it to believe the devil’s lies.

I want you to say this out loud, “I am not guilty!” Some people are so deep into guilt and self-hatred that the accusing spirit attached to them will not allow them to say it because the minute they get it out and say, “I am not guilty” that lying spirit is defeated. I encourage you to say this to yourself, “I’m not guilty. I became one with sin as if it were me and have been blaming myself and have been bitter against myself all these years. I’ve felt guilty, unworthy, ashamed and inferior and have compared myself to others. I repent Father for bitterness and unforgiveness towards myself and I forgive myself. I command the accusing spirit of self-hatred, self-rejection and guilt to be gone out of my life in the Name of Jesus.” It is as simple as that. You may need to have a renewing of the mind to apprehend that over the next month.

If you’re not at peace with others, you’ve gotten into strife and there is a breach in a relationship. strife puts your body into a toxic state of stress. Just like guilt and condemnation, strife will not only rob you of your peace and your sleep, it will make you sick. James 3 v 16: “For where there is envying and strife, there is confusion and every evil work.” Ephesians 4 v 26: “When angry, do not sin; do not ever let your wrath (your exasperation, your fury or indignation) last until the sun goes down.” Do you understand the importance of the above verse, when it comes to health and sickness? God is saying that if you don’t deal with that issue by releasing and forgiving, you are going to have disease beginning in your body by morning. Romans 12 v 18: “If possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” It’s a lot more fun living in peace.

It takes 17 facial muscles to smile and 40 to frown.

Maybe you have lost your peace simply because you are worrying about the future and what could happen tomorrow. A toxic thinking habit like this will not only rob you of your sleep but it puts you at risk of developing high blood pressure.

Matthew 6 v 34: “Do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries and anxieties of its own. Sufficient for each day is its own trouble.” If you have a problem, it will still be there tomorrow, so you may as well just cast your cares on the Lord (1 Peter 5 v 7), keep your peace and enjoy a good night’s sleep. Besides, Psalm 34 v 19 says that many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord promises that He will deliver us out of them all. Whatever it is, deal with those issues that are robbing you of your peace and your sleep. The chapter on page 523 will help you with this.

Furthermore I encourage you to speak these scriptures as a “faith confession” over yourself before you go to bed at night: “In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for You, Lord, alone make me dwell in safety and confident trust (Psalm 4 v 3). When I lie down I will not be afraid, yes, I will lie down and my sleep shall be sweet (Proverbs 3 v 24). The Lord gives [blessings] to His beloved in sleep
(Psalm 127 v 2).”

Apart from renewing your mind and getting fear, anxiety and stress out of your thought life, here are some tips to help you along the way. This is what is referred to as good sleep hygiene:

• Go to bed and get up at the same time every day. Consistent wake time is important.
• Avoiding stimulating activities such as the TV, computer or work an hour before bed – have a quiet time with God or quality time with your spouse instead!
• Avoid sleeping during the day.
• Avoid having heavy meals and a large amount of protein at night.
• Avoid alcohol and caffeine after 14h00.

If you have a problem, it will still be there tomorrow, so you may as well just cast
your cares on the Lord, keep your peace and enjoy a good night’s sleep.

• Exercise! According to Ecclesiastes 5 v 12, the person who labors physically during the day will have little trouble going to sleep and his sleep shall be sweet. So if you have a sit down job, make sure you set aside time to exercise. It is not just good for sleep, but it is vital for your overall health as well. It is better to exercise in the morning and not near bed time.
• Avoid sleeping pills – they are psychologically addictive and they do not sort out the underlying issue causing the insomnia in the first place.

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