Sleep Deprivation

Sleep Deprivation

“Sleep that knits up the ravelled sleave of care, The death of each day’s life, sore labor’s bath, Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course, Chief nourisher in life’s feast.”

Shakespeare wrote these insightful words back in the early 1600’s – long before the influx of medical research on the topic of sleep. He was already profoundly aware of the importance of sleep for our physical and mental well-being.

Most of us who have experienced a lack of sleep don’t need science to tell us of the increased likelihood of poor mental functioning or bingeing on sugar.

Certainly, sleeping well each night is a wonderful thing, for a number of reasons.

However, as Shakespeare reminds us in Act 2 of Macbeth, there are times that people are prevented from getting the sleep they may want and need.

Macbeth was prevented from sleeping, because he had murdered a sleeping man. Whilst this may be beyond the realms of relatability, most of us can empathise with being kept awake by worries or concerns that keep running through our mind.

Anyone with children will also know the pain of being kept awake, night after night, despite doing all you can to try to get more sleep. With a newborn baby in the house for the fifth time, I am all too familiar with this pattern.

Yes, there are ways to help bad sleep patterns in adults and babies alike. But there are also times when nothing we do seems to help.

I want to encourage you that God is sovereign, even over a bad night’s sleep.

Perhaps one of the most striking examples of God’s sovereignty over sleepless nights is found in the Bible.

A little while back, I did a series of blogs on the book of Esther. You can click here for a summary of the book. The turning point in the story, where tragedy begins to change to victory for God’s people, centres on a sleepless night.

The king tosses in his bed, unable to sleep and decides he wants to read through the royal records. In doing so, he discovers Mordecai had saved his life in the past and had not been rewarded for it.

In the morning, Haman goes to the king to ask permission for Mordecai to be executed on gallows he had built in his garden. However, before Haman has the chance to make his request, the king commands him to reward Mordecai with great honour.

Had the King not been kept awake, that very night, Mordecai would have been killed. But, as it turned out, Haman ended up being hung on those same gallows he had built for Mordecai.

God is sovereign over the sleep of kings. And he is sovereign over ours. Not a single night passes us by without God’s watchful care.

Whilst the purpose behind the king’s sleepless night is made clear quite quickly, other times it is less apparent why we suffer sleeplessness – particularly in the short term.

For example, it is more difficult to understand God’s purpose in mothers suffering months of sleepless nights, on top of all the other demands of parenting. Equally, it is less clear why someone should live with insomnia for an extended period of time.

However, I’ve seen how, over time, sleep deprivation has developed spiritual fruit in my life – patience, peace and self-control.

I have also learnt that however challenging and prolonged the lack of sleep, somehow, God always provides just enough to keep me going.

The Lord gives sleep to those he loves (Psalm 127:2). We can have rest, knowing God’s constant provision for us, instead of feeling anxious over the amount of sleep we’re getting. Anxiousness only helps to keep us awake longer and multiplies the suffering of the whole experience. Even if we are getting less sleep than we might like (or the experts tell us that we need) it will always be enough to see God’s purposes and will for us realised.

On the night that Jesus was arrested, he got no sleep and was greatly troubled in his spirit. Sleep may have helped Jesus mentally and physically, but it was not God’s will to give him rest. Instead, the suffering continued to the cross and the grave. But in Jesus’ sorrow, God’s greatest plan was being executed. Because he endured such agony, if we trust in him, we shall live in eternity one day, in a state of perfect rest.

If, like me, you’re suffering from a continuous lack of sleep, hold on in there. It is but temporary compared to the eternity that awaits.


From feather pillows to feather crafts – this is a nice craft to do in the spring. You could cut the rolls in two to make chicks too.

You will need:

Toilet roll



PVA glue

Small glue stick or paint brush for spreading glue

Googly eyes



Paint the toilet roll and cardboard in your chosen colours.

Allow the paint to dry and then cut a beak and feet shapes out of the cardboard.

Glue the beak, feet and eyes on.

Glue on a number of feathers to resemble wings and plumes.

These are some other simple craft ideas while you have got the feathers out. The first is painted paper cut into bird shapes. In the second the ‘F’ was cut from spare painted cardboard from the above craft.

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One Reply to “Sleep Deprivation”

  1. I’ve been having sleepless nights occasionally and I found this encouraging, Thank you X

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