Anger & Your Sleep
Angry people are generally incapable of experiencing deep inner peace. Even if their anger is aimed at just one person or situation, it will spill into other areas. It can’t be compartmentalized. Anger will taint every aspect of one’s life.
This is clearly evident when it comes to getting proper rest. Your body rejuvenates itself during sleep—old cells are replaced by new ones, hormone levels are rebalanced, and tissues are cleansed of toxins. The mind is also renewed. Sleep has benefits too numerous to mention here.
But anger can disrupt sleep patterns and can keep people from getting the full night’s rest they need. Is someone keeping you awake at night because of his or her insulting remarks or critical comments? Are you facing a situation that has you so frustrated you can’t seem to let it go? Do you find yourself tossing and turning over what someone did or said?
The deception is that when you finally fall asleep, you may think your anger has been fully dealt with and is, therefore, gone. But that isn’t the case. Your anger hasn’t disappeared. It’s simply moved into your subconscious where it will simmer and brew. Your anger will surface again. It’s not a matter of if. It’s a matter of when.
The Bible tells us clearly, “Do not let the sun go down on your anger” (Eph. 4:26). In other words, don’t go to bed angry. Get rid of any anger before you fall asleep. What you feed your mind is processed all night long in a way that either contributes to or detracts from your well-being.
If you fall asleep with your last thoughts being ones of joy and thanksgiving, peace in your relationship with God, and enthusiasm for the coming day, then you’re likely to sleep well and awaken refreshed, energetic, and ready to take on the challenges ahead. If your last thoughts before falling asleep are ones marked by bitterness, revenge, hatred, and anger, you’re most likely going to have a fitful night’s sleep and awaken feeling worn out, lethargic, and with little motivating energy to deal with the day ahead.
For years I’ve encouraged people to pray and read the Bible—especially the Psalms —as the last two things they do before going to bed at night. Reading Scripture and talking to God are the two best sleep aids I know.
Reading the Bible fills us with positive and eternal truth. It makes us aware of the fact that God is, has been, and always will be in control of every aspect of our lives. When that knowledge becomes part of our thinking night after night, it creates a deep sense of confidence. Life’s minor problems don’t have much impact, and the major ones can be taken in stride. We’ll see every challenge and opportunity in the context of God’s eternal will, plan, and purpose for our lives—and each situation and circumstance can be seen in the context of the heavenly Father’s abiding love and awesome grace.
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