What Does The Bible Say About Sleep


The Bible does not make any specific reference to insomnia, but there are some passages that can help to provide guidance on the issue. In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus says: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” This passage is often interpreted as an invitation to seek solace, guidance and inner peace in Jesus, especially when life’s demands are causing issues such as insomnia.
The bible also speaks of the importance of a good night’s sleep. Proverbs 3:24 says, “When you lie down, you shall not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep shall be sweet.” This passage is interpreted as a reminder to seek rest and leave anxieties behind us. Other bible verses mention the need for proper rest: “He giveth his beloved sleep.” (Psalm 127:2) and “In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for thou alone, O Lord, makest me to dwell in safety” (Psalm 4:8).
Exhaustion and stress are commonly seen as some of the primary causes of insomnia. The Bible speaks about coping with stress in many places. Philippians 4:6-7 says: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” This bible verse encourages us to look to God in difficult times and to trust in His power to bring peace.

Guilt & Shame

Feelings of guilt and shame often prevent people from being able to rest properly. The Bible contains various passages which help us to understand why it is normal to feel such emotions and how to handle them when they arise. Exodus 16:7-12 explains the story of how God provided for the Israelites with quail and manna in the wilderness, which should remind us that He is always aware of our needs and present to help us in times of difficulty. Psalm 32:1-2 also encourages us to “bless the Lord, oh my soul, and forget not all his benefits: who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases”. This scripture reminds us that God is merciful and forgiving and that He has the power to heal our physical and mental health.

Gratitude & Appreciation

An attitude of gratitude and appreciation can also help us better position ourselves for sleep. As mentioned previously, Psalm 4:8 reminds us of the peace that can come from releasing worries and resting in faith. Proverbs 17:22 says “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” This Scripture can be read as a reminder to look at life with a positive attitude, rather than succumbing to sadness or anger. Other passages, such as 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, urge us to “pray without ceasing” and “in everything give thanks”. All of these Bible passages remind us of the importance of recognizing God’s provision and looking to Him for peace, understanding and comfort.

Discipline & Routine

Having a regular schedule, including healthy sleep habits, can go a long way in helping us to get enough rest. 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 speaks of the importance of maintaining the discipline and order to achieve success in any endeavor, reminding us to look to Christ for strength and to strive for excellence in all aspects of life. Ephesians 5:15-16 speaks of making the most of every opportunity, which could also be interpreted as making an effort to use our time wisely and to get enough sleep.

Constant Prayers

Prayers are a valuable source of solace and comfort and can help us to sleep better. The Bible references prayer as a powerful tool for managing our day to day lives. Psalm 27 encourages us to entrust our burdens to God: “He shall cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you shall take refuge” (Psalm 27:5). Similarly, Psalm 55:22 tells us to cast our cares onto God and to leave our worries with Him: “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you” (Psalm 55:22). There are many such passages found throughout the Bible that guide us to direct our troubles to God.


Meditating on Scripture can also be beneficial in helping us to rest. Philippians 4:8 encourages us to think on positive things and to “fill your mind” with Scripture. By reading and meditating on God’s Word, we can receive direction and comfort, which can then assist in helping us to relax and rest more easily.

Nighttime Routine

The Bible does not mention any specific guidelines for nighttime routines, but it does provide encouragement for achieving proper rest. For example, Ecclesiastes 5:12 encourages us to “sleep in peace” and to trust in the Lord’s provision and power. Ecclesiastes 8:15 also speaks of the importance of rest for body and soul and reminds us to enjoy our mornings and restful nights.

Positive Attitude

Finally, the Bible talks about the importance of having a positive attitude and outlook, which can help us to rest well. Romans 12:12 encourages us to “be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer”, while Proverbs 17:22 reminds us of the power of positivity by saying “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine”. By striving to be positive and looking to God for courage and strength, we can achieve a better night’s sleep.

Boundaries & Balance

Having clear boundaries and a balanced life can help us ensure that we are able to rest properly. Colossians 3:15 directs us to “let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body”. This verse is traditionally interpreted as encouragement to maintain the peace of Christ and recognize His guidance in maintaining proper boundaries in life.
In addition, Ephesians 4:14-15 reminds us of the importance of living in balance, while recognizing the needs of others and the need to maintain a sense of justice in our lives. It states: “that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes”.

Sabbath Rest

The Bible also speaks about the importance of taking a day of rest each week. The fourth commandment found in Exodus 20:8-11 reminds us to observe the Sabbath and keep it holy, as God intended. It also reminds us to use our rest days to honor God and to reflect on His faithfulness throughout the week.

Faith & Confidence

Finally, having faith and confidence in God’s goodness can help us to rest. In Proverbs 3:25-26, we are encouraged to trust in God and to have faith that He will provide us with peace and safety: “Do not be afraid of sudden terror, or of the ruin of the wicked, when it comes, for the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being caught.” This verse gives us the assurance that we can be confident in God’s protection and guidance and to release our worries and anxieties.
At the same time, Romans 8:31 reminds us of the power of our faith in times of distress, when it says “If God is for us, who can be against us?” This verse reinforces the assurance that we are not alone in times of difficulty, but are under the watchful eye of a faithful and loving God.

Marcos Reyna is a Christian author and speaker. He is dedicated to helping create disciples of Christ through spreading the power of the gospel to others. He has written several books and articles on a variety of theological topics, including matters of faith, worship, biblical studies, practical ethics, and social justice. A trained theologian and devotee of spiritual writing, Marcos has a mission to spread Christian love everywhere. He lives with his family in Nashville, TN where he spends his days encouraging others to seek Christ's grace in all things.

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