That there’s a connection between religion and sleep hygiene is not a new idea.
People have been praying at bedtime since the day after forever ago!
Yet it’s a connection the medical establishment doesn’t talk about in our mostly secular society. Many healthcare practitioners don’t feel comfortable addressing the issue.
In a survey of 3,257 studies on insomnia, there were only 10 studies that were tangentially related to spiritual interventions.
And as far as priests and ministers, they’re likely to tell you to see a doctor or some other practitioner if you admit to having trouble sleeping.
The two fields don’t really cross.
A connection between the two areas shouldn’t be hard to see
Spirituality affects how you see the world. It affects what you see as the purpose of your life and struggles. It affects how you see the purpose of everyone’s life.
Spirituality refers to your religious values.
It’s not so much what you espouse (though that might matter some); instead, it’s what you do.
You can go on all day about how God loves us and that he’s in control; yet if you don’t really believe that, it’s going to affect what you do, not the least around bedtime.
Sleep hygiene refers to your sleep environment, afternoon and evening activities, coping behaviors, and bedtime routine.
Someone who watches violent movies at bedtime is likely to have a different experience sleeping as compared to someone else who watches something uplifting or funny and then does some spiritual reading at bedtime.
Of course, even someone who’s spiritually strong will have struggles occasionally.
When it comes to sleeping, however, the spiritual are still better off, as they are as far as health in general.
For further reading:
John 15 says why you need to say your bedtime prayers
Bedtime prayer for better sleep
Christian prayer bedtime sleep apps
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James Cobb, RN, MSN, is an emergency department nurse and the founder of the Dream Recovery System. His goal is to provide his readers with simple, actionable ways to improve their health and maximize their quality of life.