As a Christian, why am I not experiencing God's peace that will allow me to sleep?
One of my favorite verses is, “In peace, I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety” (Ps. 4:8). Yet, as a clinical psychologist, I have talked to many Christians who struggle with insomnia. They ask: Why am I experiencing sleepless nights if I have put my trust in God? First, let’s look at the clinical understanding of this issue. Insomnia is a common sleep disorder that includes difficulty falling asleep, waking up too early, and/or difficulty maintaining sleep. Anyone at any age may experience insomnia.
Insomnia can be our bodies’ way of telling us that something is wrong. One of the beautiful ways God designed our bodies includes signals that sound the alarm that something is happening to our physical well-being and needs attention. Insomnia is a signal that something is occurring in our life that is causing a physical response. And, when we experience a sleep disorder such as insomnia, this sleep loss has an impact on our physical, emotional, and mental health. Lack of sleep has been known to increase levels of anxiety and depression.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people experienced insomnia due to isolation, loneliness, limited exercise, anxiety, and depression. And we know that many times all of these factors are out of our physical control. Even when things seem peaceful and calm for a season, trials and events may occur at any moment to disrupt our routine and our sleep (James 1:2).