Take away someone’s sleep for long enough, and they will begin to show signs of insanity. Certain sections of the brain stop functioning. Sleep is vital not only for sanity, but for general health. A reduction in sleep can cause you to catch diseases more easily, because your immune system is not as strong as it should be. I know that in my own life, when I get less sleep, it’s harder to be cheerful with my children. It’s harder to do everything.
Interrupted sleep is sometimes related to stress. If your job is stressful, your brain might continue to work on the problems you’re trying to resolve at work. (This is also true when you study for a test right before going to sleep. Your mind continues to think about it while you are asleep, and you score higher on a test.) But if you are in a constant state of emergency at work, this will wear you down. It will wear out your body, and I’m not sure if a high-stress job is worth the toll it takes on your body.
If you have relationship problems, obsessing about them can cause you to not get restful sleep. Instead, you can hand the situation over to God, trusting that He will give you the right words to say at the right time. The more you stress out and fret, the worse the problem will become in your mind, and you will always overreact, causing more stress in your relationship. Stop thinking about it. As an emotional woman, I’ve discovered the shocking truth that I don’t have to think whatever thoughts come into my head. I do not have to bow down and worship my emotions. My emotions should not rule; God should rule. Hand the problem over to God and calmly recite a Scripture or think about something else that is calming, like some beautiful ocean waves.
Another cause of stress is spiritual. Sometimes I’m struggling with a sin issue, and I’m trying to overcome it. I cry out to God, and the weight of the issue is heavy on me, but it’s right before a huge spiritual transformation. For example, I asked God to grant me the ability to submit to my husband. I wanted it so badly that God caused a painful event to occur to bring things to a head. Grieving is not sin, and it might cause you to lose sleep. Continue to commit yourself to God, and He will draw near to you. Spiritual growth spurts are temporary, so at some point you will get through it to the other side, and start sleeping peacefully again.
At any point, you can read Scripture from the Psalms before going to sleep. Sometimes right in the middle of turmoil, I will have the most restful, peaceful sleep. This is miraculous, and it’s called “the peace that passes understanding.” God can grant that to you at any time, so if you are in pain or sadness, you don’t have to wait until the issue is resolved before getting good sleep. God rules and can grant you sleep at any time.
I thought it was interesting that my husband (who had work-related stress) had no problem sleeping when we were on vacation. That’s because all of his responsibilities were gone. These included being a good father to his children and keeping the house from falling apart through constant minor home improvements. I believe that getting away with your spouse can be refreshing for your marriage and for your life in general. If your spouse is having a sleep disorder because of stress, I strongly recommend that you take a break together. Looking at nature can also be relaxing and rejuvenating and can help you to sleep.