Shh! The Secret To Getting Better Sleep!


Sleep is so very sweet!

I’ve come to really appreciate sleep, but I remember being a kid and doing whatever I could to push off crawling into bed. If by chance I wasn’t successful, my favorite way to avoid having to go to sleep was to secretly read under the covers. There were many nights when my flashlight, a good book, and I were up until the wee hours! Bedtime always seemed to come long before I was ready!

These days, I see sleep very differently! Getting a consistent 7-8 hours of sleep a night is vital for me. I’ve noticed that I have more energy, focus better – I even breathe better when I’m getting enough sleep!

I still love to read! I just don’t read when it’s time to rest. In fact, I regularly read World Magazine almost cover to cover. A while back I read a short article about how Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley adheres to a very strict bedtime. So strict in fact, that he doesn’t even let events like lengthy hearings get in the way! During the Supreme Court hearings for nominee Neil Gorsuch, he relinquished his gavel to North Carolina Senator, Thom Tillis so that he could climb into bed at his usual 9:00pm. Now that’s being committed to your bedtime!

According to Grassley, being disciplined about when he goes to bed makes it possible for him to wake up at 4am. That’s when he runs three miles! Considering he’s now 90, I’d say his strict routine is working quite well for him!

Sweet Benefits!

There’s no denying that sleep is incredibly beneficial! There are a host of perks to snoozing sufficiently which means that the flip side is also true. Without enough sleep you put yourself at risk for all sorts of things including…

  • Compromising your memory
  • Health problems including cancer, increased inflammation, high blood pressure, weakened muscles and bones, etc.
  • Mood changes including depression and anxiety
  • Being more accident prone
  • Gaining weight – not getting enough sleep lowers the hormones ghrelin which increases your appetite and leptin which leads to feeling less full.
  • Lowering your sex drive
  • Negatively impacting your balance
  • Aging your skin
  • Impairing judgment and your ability to process information
  • Making it more difficult to control your emotions
  • Increasing chronic pain
  • Significantly limiting your ability to deal with stress
  • Seriously dampening your creativity

With all those reasons to get more sleep, you might be motivated to sleep 15 hours a day like Mariah Carey. She claims that’s the only way she’s able to “sing the way she wants to” and hit those enviable high notes. It’s true – check it out for yourself!

In reality, sleeping too much is just as detrimental as not getting enough sleep! Experts say 7-9 hours is ideal for adults. Take a look at the sleep recommendations for newborns to seniors here.

The best night’s sleep occurs in the absence of activity, worry, and fear. Is it possible that you’re engaging in behaviors that are taking a toll on your sleep such as…

1. Working Too Much?

Working more hours than is reasonable throws your life out of balance and it tempts you to skimp on important contributors to health including sleep. As you gradually work more, you also tend to sleep less and less. Because the effects are gradual, you might not even notice how not getting enough sleep is affecting you. However, sooner or later – it will catch up with you!

Did you know that you it’s not possible to catch up on sleep? If you don’t get enough sleep during the week, sleeping away your weekend won’t make up the difference. In order for you to perform at your best and enjoy the many other benefits rest offers, you must have a consistent bed time and a lifestyle that enables you to get adequate sleep each night like Senator Grassley.

Working so hard – what’s that all about anyway? God wants you to depend on Him – to let Him work on your behalf. When you are striving (and doing all the work) to get where you want to be or to achieve certain goals, there’s not much space for God to intervene. Remember, when He does intercede, He’s going to do it in a way that allows Him to get the glory. That doesn’t mean that you throw up your hands, but rather you do your part (and only your part) and leave the heavy lifting and the outcome to Him. Do you trust Him enough to limit the hours you work?

Have you ever considered that whether or not you are regularly getting sufficient sleep might be an indicator of your level of trust in God?

2. Doing Too Much?

Another reason you might not be getting the sleep you need is that you are trying to do too much. Living a balanced life isn’t about doing everything. It’s about prioritizing and putting your effort into the most important areas of your life. In order to do that, you need to know

      • What do you value – what’s most important right now?
      • What your current capacity is?

Every season is different. What’s most important changes and so does your capacity. Be realistic about what’s reasonable right now.

With that information in hand, you may need to begin eliminating responsibilities and activities that don’t fit into this season of life. Letting go is not easy, but you’ll appreciate how it frees you up and allows you to approach what’s most important from a more rested place. The bonus: It also leads to better results!

3. Wearing the Busy Badge?

A close cousin to trying to do too much is perpetually keeping yourself busy. There are a host of reasons why we keep ourselves occupied and without margin including…

      • Your Fear Monster – trying to prove you are enough, you matter, are competent, etc.
      • Equating a packed schedule to success or importance.
      • Avoiding your feelings, being alone, or dealing with something you don’t want to face
      • FOMO – the fear of missing out
      • Feeling guilty when you rest, relax, or do nothing

Yet, if you are extra busy, sleep tends to get squeezed out. But when you make getting enough sleep a priority, other aspects of your life naturally begin to fall into place.

4. Bad Habits?

Yes, bad habits have a way of stealing your sleep! Do you engage in any of these habits?

      • Poor eating habits – eating too late. Consuming alcohol, caffeine, or chocolate less than four to six hours prior to retiring.
      • Not going to bed at the same time every night.
      • Exercising too close to bedtime or not at all.
      • Not have a routine for winding down.
      • Scrolling on your phone, especially before bed. Not only is the blue light an issue, but it may be stimulating your brain in ways that is not conducive to sleep.

5. Dwelling on the Wrong Things?

Letting the “what ifs” of life swirl in your mind over and over again keeps you in worry mode and making sleep nearly impossible. Did you know that dwelling on your worries and fears is a form of meditation? Sadly, worry does absolutely nothing to improve your situation! Uncertainty is just a part of life!

When you are confident that God’s got you, no matter what circumstances you are facing, you will enjoy more peace and sweet sleep! That’s why proactively dwelling on His promises and meditating on Truth are so worthwhile!

What scripture would you like to meditate on? Here are a couple of my favorites to get you started:


There will always be challenging circumstances! What a blessing to know that it’s possible to enjoy sweet sleep in the midst of them!

What’s keeping you from a great night’s sleep?


© Can Stock Photo / darrenwh

Originally posted on 11/14/17 – This post has been updated and revised just for you!

Marvae Eikanas

Marvae Eikanas is an author, entrepreneur, ICF certified coach, Career Direct Consultant, DISC consultant, and HBDI practitioner. She helps her coaching clients sharpen their skills, face their fears, eliminate funky mindsets, hone their habits, and cultivate clarity so they can THRIVE personally and professionally. Schedule a consultation with Marvae here.


  1. Kent on November 15, 2017 at 8:39 am

    1) Worry about a neighbor’s tree of all things.

    2) I think that having finished my “year” (my birthday is November 2nd so I’m on to another one) without taking time to celebrate what I did accomplish and instead looking only at the list for next year.

    I was reminded in the sermon on Sunday about how the Israelites would stop and celebrate a couple of times of year with feasting and partying. They would spend the time being thankful to God for his provision in the next year.

    Next week, I’ll do that a bit, but even then I’ve committed to helping someone with projects during my Thankgsgiving week.

    • Marvae on November 15, 2017 at 9:19 am

      Hi Kent! I trust you are able to let go of the things that cause you to worry like trees and enjoy the rest you need. And yes… success without celebrating is like not fully appreciating or acknowledging what you and God have been able to accomplish together! Squeeze in that celebrating time somewhere along with the projects! Happy Thanksgiving!

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