Now I Lay Me Down to… Sleep?

I saw a meme recently that fits me to a T: “Why is it so much easier to fall asleep on the couch unintentionally than to fall asleep on the bed intentionally?” When I lie down on our couch in the evening to watch a show with my bride, I often doze off before the program ends. However, when I wake up in the middle of the night to use the restroom and then try to get back to sleep, I often lie awake for hours. I’d love to figure this out, because no matter how exhausted I am, I very rarely sleep well.
For me, the culprit is likely the “racing mind” that’s quite common in poor sleepers. In fact, respondents to the Great British Sleep Survey revealed it to be the most frequent cause of their sleeplessness. The problem with me and my fellow insomniacs is that the more our thoughts race, the more alert we become, even if we feel extremely tired.
It’s nearly impossible for me to turn off my thoughts, and yet sometimes I feel as though my sleeplessness demonstrates a lack of faith. That might sound strange, but if my faith is strong and I truly believe that God is in control of my life, shouldn’t I be able to shut down my mind and trust that God is in charge?
In addition, doesn’t God tell me the following? “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7). My “racing mind” boils down to anxiety, and God commands me not to be anxious about a single thing, but to bring it all to Him and experience the peace that comes with it.
I don’t know the “nuts and bolts” of how this actually works, but I need to trust that it does. And God reminds me of this: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9). If I can focus on God’s thoughts instead of my own, and remember the promises He makes to me, my racing thoughts will come to a halt and I just might be more rested the next time you see me.
Troy Burns