Insomnia is described as a prolonged and usually abnormal inability to get enough sleep. It is a common sleep disorder that can make it hard to fall asleep, hard to stay asleep, or cause you to wake up too early and not be able to get back to sleep. This happens to many people for a number of reasons, whether physical, psychological or spiritual.
“…for he gives his beloved sleep.” Psalm 127:2
Causes of Insomnia
Insomnia can be caused by physical and psychological factors such as these:
- Mood swings
- Chronic pain
- Too much light from televisions or smartphones prior to bedtime
- Drugs and alcohol use
There are many possible causes of insomnia which also go beyond physical and psychological factors. Certain spiritual factors can also be responsible for insomnia. For example, hatred for a certain person can make you lose ability to sleep well, especially if you had any interactions with that individual before going to bed.
It is for our benefit that God’s Word commands us to love and forgive people. It is crystal clear that our sleep life has direct effects on our mental, physical and spiritual health and our productivity.
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Symptoms of Insomnia
There are many symptoms associated with insomnia. These are signs to look out for to identify insomnia and to act against it. If you find any of these signs present, you must take immediate action to find the solutions.
- Sleeping difficulty
- Daytime sleepiness
- Lack of concentration
- Slowness in activity
- Feeling tired upon waking up from sleep
- Increased errors or accidents
- Difficulty focusing on or remembering tasks
At times, the answer to some of these symptoms might be just to cease from activities and find enough time to eat well, rest and sleep.
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Spiritual Causes of Insomnia
The sleep life of men can be influenced from the spiritual realm
We see that God, in answer to the prayers and fasting of Queen Esther and the Jews, influenced the sleep of King Ahasuerus and deprived him of sleep in order to achieve a purpose. Esther 6:1 tells us, “That night the king could not sleep. So one was commanded to bring the book of the record of the chronicles; and they were read before the king.”
Whenever God does this, it is not to punish the person. Instead, it is to rescue and deliver his people from persecution, danger and possible death, and it is never prolonged. As soon as God’s purpose is accomplished, God restores sound sleep to the individual. It is important to know this so you may be able to discern between God’s operations and that of the devil.
The devil could also be responsible for insomnia in people’s lives
While God does it for a redemptive purpose, the devil does it for a destructive purpose. The devil has a malicious agenda against humanity, which is to kill, steal and destroy (see John 10:10). He’s out to steal your joy and destroy your health.
One of the ways he does this is by attacking your sleep life, and making sure that you never get enough sleep. Sleeping pills are never the true solution to insomnia. They might work temporarily but often leave behind side effects. Dependence on sleeping pills will lead to addiction and bondage, through which the devil can easily manipulate your health in order to destroy it. First Peter 5:8-9 reads, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith.”
When the devil fires his fiery darts of fear, worry, or anxiety, you can decide to accept them or reject them. Ephesians 6:16 says, “Above all, taking the shield of faith with which you’ll be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.”
Evil spirits from the devil’s inferior, counterfeit and already-defeated kingdom can oppress people, especially in the night hours. Nightmares can be signs of demonic presence and activities. You see, nightmares make you fearful of going back to sleep. There are also times when demons molest people sexually in their dreams. This also causes people to lose their sleep for fear of being molested again.
Note that these types of events are signs of demonic presence and activities in your home or environment. But blessed be God, for all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Jesus (and his people) and in his name “shall you cast out demons” (see Mark 16:17).
Restlessness caused by unrepentant sin
When you commit sin against God and do not repent, it causes you to lose your God-given peace. Sin stinks in His nostrils! You need to sit down, think deep and search your heart by the Spirit of God. If you find sin there, you must repent immediately. Repentance breaks the yoke of restlessness and insomnia (see Proverbs 28:13).
Being off course with God’s purpose for your life
Think about this for a minute: Do you think Jonah could sleep soundly in the belly of the fish? Imagine you were Jonah, in a large fish’s belly for three days and three nights! Would you be able to sleep? Well, NO!
Jonah was off course and was trying to get away from God. He wanted to serve God in his own way by his own preferences. Jonah wanted to choose when to obey God and when to disobey Him. He wanted to walk with God at his own convenience and comfort. As a result, he ended up in a fish’s belly (See Jonah 1 & 2.)
A man in disobedience against God’s purpose and instruction will surely lack peace in himself. Of course, it takes peace of mind to have a sound sleep. Until Jonah got right with God, he remained in the fish’s belly. Getting right with God is vital to your overall health.
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Four Keys to Combatting Insomnia
This is very important in overcoming insomnia. In prayer, you’ll be able to discern, by the help of God’s Spirit, the source of the problem and how to deal with it.
Are you worried or anxious about anything? Cast your cares upon God in prayer and he’ll help you out. (See Philippians 4:6)
Are you off course with God’s purpose for your life? Cry to God in prayer, asking him for direction and guidance and he will show you the way and how to walk in it. (See Jeremiah 10:23,24)
Is there unrepentant sin in your life? There is abundant mercy with God; cry out to him in prayer and seek His forgiveness. (See 1 John 1:9)
Are you troubled by nightmares and terrifying dreams? Take advantage of the power in Jesus’ name and cast out the demons responsible. Remember the demons are subject to you in His name! (See Luke 10:17)
Praise and thanksgiving
This is one of the best ways to fill your heart, home and environment with God’s divine presence. Anxiety, worry, temptation to sin, fear and depression will flee from you when you praise and thank God. Sing to the Lord from your heart, rejoice in him, and watch him destroy insomnia with all its symptoms. Psalm 98:1 says, ‘Oh, sing to the Lord a new song! For He has done marvelous things; His right hand and His holy arm have gained Him the victory.”
Faith in God’s Word
Anchor your faith on God’s Word, which is living and powerful and works better than sleeping pills. The only side effects God’s Word ever leaves you with is peace! Jeremiah 33:6 says, “Behold, I will bring it health and healing; I will heal them and reveal to them the abundance of peace and truth.” Believing the Word is crucial to your victory over insomnia, whether acute or chronic.
Meditation Verses for Insomnia
Write out these scriptures and put them somewhere around your bed where you can read them out loud to yourself every time you need to sleep!
“For (God) gives His beloved sleep.” Psalm 127:2
“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27
“And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and He slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place.” Genesis 2:21
“So David took the spear and the jug of water by Saul’s head, and they got away; and no man saw it or knew it or awoke: for they were all asleep; because a deep sleep from the LORD was fallen upon them.” 1 Samuel 26:12
“I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; For You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.” Psalm 4:8
Learn to discipline your use of technology especially in the bedroom. Lights from television screen, smartphones, and computers can cause sleep disorders. Also learn to discipline your eating time, especially at night. Don’t play loud music in your bedroom. Learn to love quietness.
In practicing all of these habits, you shall find enough sleep for your body, peace for your mind and strength for your spirit.
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Angela Lowe, MS. Ed., LPC
Angela Lowe is a licensed Professional Counselor, trained Biblical Counselor and certified Holistic Health Coach. Her kingdom mandate is to restore God’s counsel to transform lives, marriages, and churches worldwide.