Monday, November 5, 2012

Words of Comfort: This Article Will Put You to Sleep

Some time ago, I received an unusual question from an Atheist. Often their questions are rooted in anger, or they are asking, looking for something they can grab for a future argument as to why God doesn’t exist. But this one was different. He said, "Hey Ray, I have a weird question for you. Do you suffer from insomnia? I hope not; I find it insufferable when I can't sleep."

The inability to sleep is extremely common, and it can be devastating, so stay awake as I share a few thoughts with you about what I found out about sleep. I suffered badly from insomnia for many years, and I actually brought it on myself. I have been getting up most nights around midnight (since 1982) each week to pray and to write. I would be up for three hours, and so stirred my mind I could never get back to sleep. I would lay awake exhausted, desperately wanted to get to sleep, for hours. But then I found a wonderful cure, and ended up writing a book about it called, Overcoming Insomnia. I will try and summarize the book so that you won’t have to buy it.

It is the mind not the body that’s the problem. You can go to bed physically exhausted and lie awake all night, thinking about the day’s problems. What you have to do is learn how to exhaust the brain. It is full of energy and doesn’t want to rest. You have to tire it out so that it wants to shut down, and there is an effective way to do this.

You have to read, and you have to do it with a concerted discipline. I read the Bible in bed on an IPod, so that I don’t wake Sue by turning on the light. It is through reading that I discovered the secret to inducing sleep. You have to learn to read until a "wave" takes over your mind and causes your eyes to lose focus and your mind the ability to concentrate. This process works like the "wave" of a reoccurring birth contraction or the reoccurring "wave" of our daily bodily functions. It comes and then it goes. Perhaps you have felt this at times in the past, just before you go to sleep.

This familiar “wave” may take ten minutes to induce, or it may take a whole hour of concerted reading, but after a while you will recognize it when it comes. It will try and stop you from reading, and it’s very powerful. The key is to fight it. Don’t yield to it. Keep reading until it passes. The wave will only last for 15-20 seconds, then you will be able to concentrate on reading again without any problem.

The second wave will come five perhaps ten minutes or even 20 minutes later. When it comes, fight it for a moment, then stop reading. Shut your eyes, and count backwards from 100. This will take discipline. You are doing it to further exhaust your mind and to keep busy the voice of your over-active subconscious. The next thing it will be morning, and you will be thanking God for a good night’s sleep.

If this process doesn’t work, you could try reading any of my books. I’m confident, they will put you to sleep.


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