For Christmas, I received a vacuum cleaner from my husband. But not just any vacuum cleaner. It’s a robot that vacuums the floor all by itself. Maybe you’ve seen this Roomba “iRobot” in the store. Before buying it, James asked some of our women friends if it would be taboo to buy your wife an appliance like a vacuum cleaner as a Christmas gift. They assured him that the Roomba would be a dreamy gift and I agree.
Except for one thing.
My husband programmed the Roomba to go off at 6:30 a.m. and let me tell you, that thing is noisy. Beep, beep, beep, BEEP!!! For you morning people, 6:30 a.m. is nothing, but I am not a morning person. I am a “sleep as long as possible, 7:00 a.m. is plenty early” kind of person.
So since Christmas, my morning slumber has been interrupted by a robot. Now I realize the robot is doing chores for me, so forgive me if I sound ungrateful. It’s just that I love sleep so much.
Just ask my husband. He asked what I was writing about.
“The value of sleep and rest,” I replied.
“Oh, you’re good at that,” was his sarcastic response.
Yet in the age of sleeping pills and insomnia, I take that as a compliment! According to a National Sleep Foundation survey, more than half of Americans are sometimes unable to fall or stay asleep, and about one-third of us experience sleeping problems every night or almost every night. Carol Ash, medical director of Sleep for Life, a sleep disorder treatment program in Hillsborough, New Jersey, says, “So many people are sleep deprived. We’re living in an unprecedented time of sleep debt.”
Why Is Sleeping Well So Hard?
Why has sleep become so elusive to the average American?
For starters, there are those pesky physical problems. When I was pregnant with my daughter last year, I had to get up four or five times a night to go to the bathroom. Once I waddled back into bed, the baby’s kicking would start. Not to mention indigestion; this was by far the worst offender. I heard that if your baby has a lot of hair, you’ll have some serious indigestion. Let’s just say my baby came out with dark, thick hair like Elvis and I believe that old wives’ tale to be true!
Now there were other times in my life when I couldn’t sleep because my brain wouldn’t turn off. For instance, lists danced in my mind before going on a road trip to Zion National Park in Utah. Things to pack for the baby, for the kids, for snacks, for entertainment in the car. I pictured what outfits I should bring since the weather could be in the high 50’s or the low 20’s depending on the time of day. My in-laws were coming and I fretted about what kinds of foods they would enjoy. I aimed to be a supermarket on wheels because my husband isn’t one to stop at a drive-thru. Plus our family motto is: “Be prepared.” We needed enough food and drinks to survive a blizzard!
All these details crowded my brain and I couldn’t sleep. And if I don’t sleep, I’m not happy. And if Momma’s not happy, nobody’s happy, right? So let me share my personal #1 cure for insomnia. It involves no medication and it probably won’t cost you a dime.
I listen to podcasts or books on tape on my iPod. Instant tranquilizer. I put my earphones in and listen to something positive and soothing. Many nights it’s the Daily Audio Bible podcast. A man named Brian reads from the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs. He has a wonderfully rich voice and he knows how to pronounce all the hard names like Jeconiah and Shealtiel. I’m usually asleep before he gets to the New Testament reading. I also enjoy listening to Joel Osteen’s podcast because he’s so positive. My stress melts away as I listen to messages like “God’s Hand is Outstretched Toward You” and “Program Your Mind for Victory.” If I need some new sleepy time selections, I just borrow my husband’s iPod and listen to something about business or history and I’m out like a light in no time.
Before I had an iPod, if I couldn’t sleep I would launch “the secret weapon.” The secret weapon was a recording of the Bible in King James language and style on cassette. Just ten minutes of “thee’s” and “thou’s” and the peace of God would lead me into restful places!
So maybe the next time you have trouble catching your zzz’s, you can try listening to something soothing to lull you to sleep.
7 Easy Tips on How to Sleep Tight
Here are a few other sleep tips I’ve read before and found helpful.
1. Don’t Stare at the Clock
If you’ve been lying in bed for more than 20 minutes and you’re still wide awake, get out of bed. Don’t do anything ambitious like clean the kitchen sink. Just move to another room and pick up a book or magazine to read until you get sleepy. Write someone a letter (not an email). Don’t watch TV or else a few hours later, you might still be glued to the tube.
2. Make a To-do List Before You Go to Bed
If your mind is frantically racing about all the things left undone from the day, grab a pencil and paper. Write down the things you need to do. Are you worried? Write that down too. It could be something like, “I’m worried about my job interview tomorrow. Lord, please help me to do my best.”
3. Keep a Bedtime Routine
Kids aren’t the only ones who need rituals like a bath, brushing teeth, and story time to settle down. Adults need that sense of closure as well. After you wash your face and brush your teeth, maybe you can read a brief devotional or pray with your husband before turning off the lights. Spend a little time to wind down each evening.
4. Don’t Drink Caffeine or Alcohol Late in the Day
If I’m at a party and have a cup of regular coffee in the evening, I pay a price for it. Buzz! Buzz! Buzz!
5. Exercise Regularly
When your body is healthy and fit, sleep will come naturally. If it’s been a while since you last worked out, try exercising again. Chances are you’ll sleep wonderfully because you’ll be exhausted in a good way.
6. Make Your Bedroom a Sanctuary
Decorate it in a way that pleases you. Use your bed for relaxation, not as a center for work, bill paying, or any other stressful activity.
7. Take a Sunday After Nap[
The last thing I want to extol is the virtue of a Sunday afternoon nap. I think I have enjoyed a Sunday nap ever since I was a teenager which equals about 1,200 naps to date. I don’t regret one of them! Lord knows I would be a much grouchier person without that weekly nap. Researchers say that napping improves your productivity and mood. That’s why I don’t feel guilty about snoozing in the middle of the day. I know I’ll be more productive and nice the rest of the time.
I suppose as long as I get eight hours of sleep a night and that weekly nap, I can handle being woken up by a vacuuming robot even at 6:30 in the morning!
Welcome to Ungrind!
Do you want to be inspired, motivated, and equipped to live the everyday story of your life well?
If so, you’re in the right place. Whether you need encouragement in your relationships or in your faith, I hope you’ll find the transparent voices of mentors and friends here at Ungrind.
So, grab a cup of coffee and keep reading. We're so glad you're here!
Ashleigh Slater, Founder & Managing Editor
Get Our Free Ebook!
To Those Who Want To Be Truly Happy: Stop Chasing Happiness
Chasing happiness isn't all it's cracked up to be. Here are a few reasons why.
How the Psalms Speak to Our Emotions
The Psalms is a book that's rich with the reality of what life's like in this fallen world. Here are...
3 Ways to Navigate Personality Differences
Sometimes personality differences can wear on us. Here are three ways we can navigate them in a loving manner.
Surprised By ‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood’
If you haven't seen this film, God may speak to your heart through it in ways you weren't expecting.
The Wedding Ring
Are you struggling in your marriage? Here's how a wedding ring helped one wife fight for her marriage.
5 Ways to Live an Out-of-Control Life
Here are 5 ways to let go of control and trust your present and your future to God.
5 Creative Places to Find Prayer Accountability
Do you want to pray more, but are easily distracted? Here are some practical ways to stay focused.
What Women Are Saying
-- Sarah Martin, author of Stress Point: Thriving Through Your Twenties in a Decade of Drama
"Real life is not always pleasant. Every marriage experiences disappointments, misunderstandings, sickness and financial crisis. Ashleigh doesn’t camouflage the pain in her own marriage, and offers practical ideas on how to walk through the difficulties and find intimacy on the journey. If you are anything like me, I predict that as you read, you too will find yourself laughing, wiping tears, and saying 'Oh, yes.'"
-- Gary Chapman, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The 5 Love Languages
We are a member of the Amazon affiliate program and regularly use affiliate links. If you purchase an item from an Amazon link we provide, we will receive a small referral commission. This doesn’t cost you anything additional. We only share books, music, and products that our writers personally have used and highly recommend.
Faith4 years ago
When Doing Justly, Loving Mercy, and Walking Humbly Stand at Odds
Motherhood4 years ago
Surviving a Strong-Willed Child
Faith5 years ago
7 Ways to Create A Family Altar
Friendship6 years ago
Beyond the Registry: The Ultimate Gift Guide for Expectant Parents
Relationships6 months ago
5 Ways to Teach Your Child to Hear God
Marriage6 years ago
4 Reasons I’m Not Facebook Friends With My Husband
Everyday Faith5 years ago
6 Simple Ways to Give Thanks in the Thick of It
Articles5 years ago
10 Ways Life is Like a Box of Chocolates
Articles7 years ago
How to Lift Up the One You Love
Articles5 years ago
Relationships11 months ago
Facing Our Motherhood Fears
Digging Into Scripture3 months ago
How the Psalms Speak to Our Emotions