The night watch

Lately I have been chalking up these middle of the night sessions to “old age.”

“I must be getting old. I’m getting up more and I’m not falling right back to sleep.”

It seems common that this can’t be “normal” because we all need a “good night’s sleep.” But then there are studies

More than one-third of American adults wake up in the middle of the night on a regular basis. Of those who experience “nocturnal awakenings,” nearly half are unable to fall back asleep right away. Doctors frequently diagnose this condition as a sleep disorder called “middle-of-the-night insomnia,” and prescribe medication to treat it.

Sure.. let’s just medicate our way out of this “problem.” What could go wrong?

It turns out, this all may be Thomas Edison’s fault.

Before the invention of the light bulb, most of humanity actually slept in smaller blocks of time.

References to “first sleep” or “deep sleep” and “second sleep” or “morning sleep” abound in legal depositions, literature and other archival documents from pre-Industrial European times. Gradually, though, during the 19th century, “language changed and references to segmented sleep fell away,” said Ekirch. “Now people call it insomnia.”

Now, we want one solid block of time when our internal clocks may be more needful of smaller blocks of time.

This may be what the psalmist refer to a couple of times when referring to prayer and the “night watch.”

My eyes stay open through the watches of the night,
    that I may meditate on your promises. — Ps. 119:148

On my bed I remember you;
    I think of you through the watches of the night. — Ps. 63:6

Another article on sleep cycles is HERE.

It’s still aggravating for me, though. I want to get back to sleep. I can’t, so I toss and turn. By the time I figure out I need to get up and read or pray, I’m even more aggravated because I’m realizing, “What’s the use? I’ll have to get up in another hour anyway!”

Not a very good attitude for prayer!

Walking with the Lord over the years is still a learning process. It is learning new rhythms and patterns that are necessary in my life. I always desire to be a lifelong learner… but just not at 2 a.m.!

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One thought on “The night watch

  1. T D Jakes has a wonderful series called the Night Watches. It helped me to not panic when I couldn’t get right back to sleep.
    Great topic.

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