How to Put Your Mind to Rest at Bedtime

I’m convinced that my thoughts sleep during the day so they’ll have abundant energy to run laps at night.

Not so long ago, I went to bed at 9, or at least the body went down for the count. My mind, however, buzzed. I usually stay in the bed, hoping to fall asleep, but this time, I got up and pulled out a journal. It was midnight. After a brain dump, it became apparent that all the thoughts pointed back to one subject, which started to unfold with the first line:


Lord, I feel like I’m walking on a tightrope in so many ways these days.


Following the first line:

  • specific ways I felt tension between the thoughts I am thinking and those I want to think.
  • recent disappointments that weighed heavier than I realized.
  • lies I knew were from the enemy (nothing crushes Satan’s lies like being exposed to light!).
  • Psalm 139:23, 34 (Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.) I often start my Psalm 46:10 time with God using this verse. Only He knows what true motives lurk behind good intentions, often unbeknownst to me. I trust Him to reveal what thoughts need repentance and forgiveness.
  • After writing out the Psalm 139 verses, I jotted down questions for God, revealing places in my heart where I’d sought validation in someone other than Jesus.

I ended the entry after 1 a.m., asking Him to help me be who I can’t be without Him, to refresh my mind and soul, and to breathe life into the empty places. I returned to bed and fell right asleep.

But more importantly, the revelation of misguided validations began a sweet conversation with the Lord that still continues today. The Holy Spirit alerts my spirit when I start to lean in the wrong places, gently nudging me back into His arms.


Sometimes what keeps us awake points us back to one thing.

Other times, multiple thoughts twist as tightly as a tornado.


Whatever the reason for our restless thoughts, finding ways to tuck them in for the night is sure to help us move the needle in the right direction.

Lately, I’ve started spending 5-10 minutes just before bedtime, jotting down every thought swirling around in my brain. It doesn’t matter if it makes sense. Thoughts like what I need to do the next day, the one thing left off the grocery list, or wondering if what I said to someone earlier that day came out as intended.


Some other ways that help put the mind to rest at bedtime include:


  • Know my caffeine cut-off time.
  • Turn off social media an hour or two before bedtime.
  • Try to resolve any lingering issues with others before bedtime. Even if it’s a quick text to a friend saying you’d like to catch up with her tomorrow. That one simple step helps to topple the pressure off the heaviest of hearts.
  • Pray aloud. Hearing the words we speak to God, along with Holy Spirit silence sandwiched in between, adds a layer of peace even the warmest of blankets can’t provide.
  • Read a scripture verse out loud and pray it back to the Lord. For instance, Proverbs 3:24 says, When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.” There’s no right or wrong way to pray the verse back, but one way might be, Lord, thank You that I don’t need to be afraid when I lie down tonight. Your faithfulness and love hold me fast and my sleep will be sweet tonight. I praise You and thank You.
  • Keep a “jot-it-down” journal by your bed, along with a pen, to add anything to your list that resists the command to flee! (If you subscribe to the Creative Pauses from The Tiny House on the Hill monthly letters, prepare for a blessed inbox today. You’ll find a monthly calendar of bedtime scripture verses and a bedtime “giveaway”.)
  • If the thoughts that keep you awake center around a particular issue, consider reaching out to a trusted friend or Christian counselor for prayer and a listening ear.


Do you also struggle to put your mind to rest at bedtime? What are some thoughts that keep you up at night? I welcome the opportunity to pray for you, as I pray for myself, at bedtime. If you’d like, please share your name in the comments.


Do you know someone else who struggles to put their mind at rest at bedtime? Feel free to share this post with others!


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