From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Dr. Graham:

I dread nighttime because going to sleep is not pleasant — it is a chore. Why can’t I turn my mind off and rest?

— S.D.

Dear S.D.: Many people have trouble falling asleep at night. Some take over-the-counter drugs or sleeping pills; others require prescription medication to sleep.

Often sleeplessness is a restless spirit and not a chemical imbalance that keeps us from what our bodies and minds need. It is good for us to remember that the Bible instructs us to lay down in sleep and dwell in safety (Psalm 4:8). One of the best ways we can help ourselves at the close of day is to direct our thoughts toward God who gives rest in our weariness.

The Psalms are perhaps the most soothing place in Scripture for one to turn to shut out the stresses and troubles of the day. Some of the psalms have been set to music and listening to them can help soothe the cares of the world. King David, who wrote many of the psalms, soothed the mind and heart of the king, and no doubt his own troubled soul.

God desires that we rest in Him. He knows that we need it in order to work effectively while we’re awake. So when sleep is difficult, read from the book of Psalms. There is joy in its message and peace in its instruction. We can pray and ask God to give body, mind, and soul restoration. He gives us quiet confidence to live by and rest in.

“I will not give sleep to my eyes or slumber to my eyelids, until I find a place for the Lord, a dwelling place for the Mighty One” (Psalm 132:4-5). Take solace in the fact that the Lord will be with us when we are resting in Him.