When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet.
Not all sleep problems are due to insomnia, sleep apnea, or other physical ailments. Some sleep difficulties are spiritual problems. God wants His dear children to sleep well, and if they will put their trust in Him, they can have perfect peace (Ps 127:1-2; Is 26:3-4).
Solomon told his son to keep sound wisdom and discretion, knowing they give many benefits to men (Pr 3:21-23). Sweet and peaceful sleep, free from fear and guilt, is a precious gift to those who fear God (Pr 3:25-26). Let this lesson be your sleep medicine.
Wisdom has many benefits. It will give you an abundant life of joy and peace (Pr 3:22), adorn your character and reputation like a gold necklace graces a neck (Pr 3:22), and keep you from stumbling or falling over things in life that hurt others (Pr 3:23). Wisdom is a precious asset during the day, but it is also one during the night (Pr 3:24; 6:20-23).
What causes sleep problems? Guilt! The fear of getting caught or the shame of having been caught is a source of fear that can chase you day and night, but especially at night. Your mind is free at night to imagine all sort of debilitating scenarios, usually worse than reality (Pr 28:1). Wisdom, the knowledge and choice to do what is right, can save you from guilt by keeping you from sinning against God or men. You can sleep peacefully.
What causes sleep problems? Fear! If you have been foolish and done something stupid, you know there are painful consequences (Pr 6:1-5). No matter how creative you get, you know there will be punishment. If you have committed adultery, there is fear of an angry spouse, theirs or yours. If you have invested in a possible scam, there is fear of losing your money. Wisdom, saving you from such stupid choices, can give you confident sleep.
What causes sleep problems? Fear of God’s judgment! If you have sinned, you know that God is angry and could chasten you severely for your folly (Ps 32:3-5). The dread of His judgment is enhanced at night, because you imagine unseen danger may lurk on every side. A chance storm with thunder and lightning further contributes to a terrifying fear of God. Wisdom keeps you godly and righteous, and there is no fear of God’s judgment.
What causes sleep problems? Fear of disasters! Many tremble about everything from bird flu to tsunamis, from Y2K to identity theft, from economic depression to war. But the child of God sleeps on peacefully. He knows his God never sleeps, his God keeps every sparrow, and his God directs every bolt of lightning (Lev 26:6; Job 37:3; 38:35; Ps 29:7; 121:4-7; Matt 10:29-31). Wisdom is of great value to help you sleep at night.
With the Lord on your side, you can sleep anytime, anywhere (Ps 3:5; 4:8; Is 26:3-4). If the angel of the Lord is camping with you, there is no reason for nightmares or fear in the night (Ps 34:7). Peter was hard to wake up the night before his planned execution (Acts 12:1-7). Paul and Silas sang at midnight in Philippi’s dungeon (Acts 16:19-25). And Paul cheerfully ate in a terrible storm that blocked out the sun for two weeks (Acts 27:12-37).
But it gets even better! With the Lord on your side, you can limit yourself to reasonable effort, no matter how daunting the task or intimidating the situation, and go to bed. He will do the rest. He wants you to sleep on it. Getting up early, staying up late, or worrying will not help. He will take care of the matter, if you will do your reasonable best and trust Him for the rest. It is His promise to you (Ps 127:1-2; Phil 4:6-7; I Pet 5:7).
Consider how Jesus of Nazareth experienced this benefit of wisdom in a storm at sea (Mark 4:36-41). When a great storm of wind arose, and the waves beat into the ship, so the ship was full of water, where was He? Peacefully asleep! His disciples had to wake Him up! What was His advice to the terrified disciples? “Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith?” What is the proverb’s lesson? Get wisdom! Go to bed! Sleep well!