Amy was a very sleep-deprived new mom. As soon as her baby would fall asleep (a rare occurrence), she would rush to bed, only to find her mind racing from the adrenaline she'd been living on. It was maddening.
She knew it wasn't for lack of tiredness that she couldn't sleep; she needed a way to quickly wind down her mind and body. So she began to try a "trick" to cast off her worries and fill her body with peace.
As soon as she lay her head on her pillow, her baby barely asleep, Amy would list 5 things she was thankful for that day. They could be as mundane as "Thank You, God, for the food I ate today." "Thank you for my neighbor bringing me coffee." She would feel her body begin to unwind. Then she would list 5 prayer requests to God, often very simple and immediately practical: "God, please help my son sleep an hour straight." "Please let my husband sleep during this time too."
As she did this, she found herself suddenly waking an hour or two later to the cries of her baby. She had fallen asleep right after her lists and hadn't even realized it! She continued this and began to add it to her morning routine, instead of checking Facebook or e-mail first, and found herself beginning the day with much greater peace.
"Gratitude literally changed my life. It gave me sleep when I needed it most", says Amy.
Research is discovering that thoughts of gratitude trigger the parasympathetic portion of the nervous system, the part responsible for calming your mind and body. So something as "simple" as listing what you're thankful for really can help you fall asleep and begin your day with a new sense of calm and peace.
So, are you in need of peace and rest? Take a moment to list what you are thankful for today. Let us know in the comments, and tonight before bed, try it out!