The night before last I had insomnia. I was bug-eyed and wide awake until after 5:30 am. It reminded me of a bout of insomnia I experienced about 10 years ago when doctors discovered a growth on my thyroid. I tried to not think about it during the day and felt like I wasn’t freaking out with future tripping “what ifs”, but still experienced a four night insomnia storm leading up to my biopsy. I think it was a deep, subconscious anxiety about what they might find that kept me wound up and unable to sleep. Everything turned out fine; lots of people have benign growths on their thyroid, especially as they get older. But sometimes, it is malignant, hence the anxiety.
A friend of mine in Tennessee experienced insomnia last night and shared her frustration on Facebook. Sleeplessness is unusual for her. She works hard during the day and typically sleeps well all night. Many of her friends chimed in to her post, sharing that they, too, were experiencing insomnia. It must be something going around.
In retrospect, I can look back on my white nights prior to my biopsy and attribute the sleeplessness to anxiety created by the uncertainties of the thyroid growth. I couldn’t break it down to that at the time because I was caught up in the storm.
There is so much uncertainty about life and the future wrapped around this Global Pandemic and I suspect many of us are experiencing insomnia driven anxiety during this time of self quarantined isolation.
We can just try to soldier on and cope as best as possible, or we can take action when insomnia disturbs our sleep. I am not talking about taking sleeping pills. They didn’t work for me when I was in the thyroid insomnia storm. A sleep aid can sometimes force our bodies into an artificial sleep pattern but they don’t address the root of the problem. Looking back, I can see that I was afraid of what the biopsy might find. I refused to address the fear and pushed it down, out of my mind instead of releasing it to God.
When insomnia strikes there is usually something else going on beneath the surface that we are not surrendering to God.
Recognizing the attack and addressing the root cause is the first step to overcoming. Satan, the enemy of our soul, looks for these chinks in our spiritual armor and uses them to distract and derail us. He doesn’t fight fairly and never wastes an opportunity to keep our eyes off Jesus.
I have a suggestion if you are experiencing sleepless nights, or if you want to take some preemptive steps. Before you go to bed, set up a CD player, MP3 player, tablet, or other music playing device next to your bed. Load it with soothing worship songs. Have earphones handy if you share a bedroom and don’t want to disturb your partner.
When insomnia strikes, play this music softly and focus your mind on Jesus. Consciously relax and rest your body. Choose to relax your mind. Focus on the words of the song. Demonic forces flee when Jesus is worshiped and God is glorified.
Tell God what is bothering you. Be honest. He knows it already and is there to help you through this. He loves you and wants you to rest in Him and trust Him despite the circumstances swirling around you. Remember, God’s got this.
I pray that the peace of Christ floods your spirit, and floods the spirits of all who are dealing with many uncertainties in this season.