Hi everyone! This is Lauren, Rachel Anne's daughter, and I'm continuing my series on Tips for Beautiful Sleep. I loved reading your comments on my last post and have felt so encouraged by your own tips and experiences with sleep issues. Thank you for your kind words!
"I looked to the Lord when I was in trouble. I put out my hand at night, and it did not get tired. My soul would not be comforted... You keep my eyes from closing. I am so troubled that I cannot speak...
I remember my song in the night.
I think with my heart. And my spirit asks questions."
Psalm 77:1-2; 4; 6
It's funny how in the dark of night, things seem so big and scary. When the last lamp is turned off and the world goes black, our minds may not find peace, but worry. In those lonely hours that drag on and on, what do you turn to in order to find comfort?
Maybe you make lists in your mind of things to do the next day. You might sit up and read a book or read on your phone.
Those are simple ways to help relieve stress before nodding off to sleep and I have certainly done them on many occasions.
Something that helps me rest and relax at bedtime is to listen.
On the nights when my mind can't seem to grasp on to any one thought or can't be pushed over the edge into restful sleep, I love to listen to various music and spoken word to calm my mind. Just like the psalmist, I turn to songs in the night.
In my quest to find solutions for better sleep, I wanted to share with you some of my favorite go-to things to listen to.
Scripture Lullabies: Hidden In My Heart
My mom, Rachel Anne, told me about these albums this past year and I have really enjoyed every single song. Through cinematic music that includes an orchestra, piano, and gentle vocalists, the Scripture Lullabies songs are written straight from the Bible. The words of truth wash over me in the evenings, as well as while I'm driving around in my van with my two (loud) young girls.
I have found so much comfort in these beautiful songs and I have even given away many copies to friends because I think everyone should own them!
The song entitled "Beatitudes" is one of my favorites and has helped me memorize this precious portion of scripture. Give it a listen below:
Scripture Narration from YouVersion Bible App
I love reading scripture when I can't sleep. I will usually read it on my very dim phone (you can learn my tricks for dimming your iPhone on my last post) but frequently, I like to listen to someone read it.
The YouVersion bible app has a feature that allows you to simply push "play" and a narrator will read a portion of scripture. You can find out more about it here.
They must have figured out that lots of people want to gently fall asleep to scripture because you can even set the narration to read for a set amount of time like 15, 30, or 60 minutes and then automatically turn off.
I usually will listen to the Psalms or Proverbs at night when I'm trying to go to sleep. I find that listening to a gentle voice gives my mind something to think about beside my own worries about going to sleep. You can download the free app here.
Relaxation Tracks and Guided Meditation
When I was a child and had trouble going to sleep, my mom and dad would help me by guiding me through relaxing each part of body. Their soft words would drift over me as they would say, "Now, Lauren, think about the muscles around your eyes. Let those muscles relax as you take a deep breath."
It's amazing how much more relaxed you can be when someone is reminding you to relax! I have found that listening to breathing exercises and guided meditations help me get in a peaceful mindset at bed time.
Sometimes I listen to them while going to sleep, or will play one if I've been lying awake and begin to feel anxious.
Here's an example of a breathing exercise. You can find many tracks similar to this on Youtube or iTunes.
I also like the 10-minute track called "Inviting Deep, Restful Sleep" from Minute Meditations. The narrator simply helps you imagine your body being tucked into bed with a heavy blanket that slowly pulls up over you. Super cozy!
Finding a soothing, calm voice to guide you through relaxation can be very beneficial in quieting your mind and body when you feel keyed up.
I hope these songs and spoken words help comfort you when you have trouble resting and going to sleep.
What other kinds of music or songs do you like for relaxation and sleep? I'd love to hear from you!