Use these 17 soothing Bible verses on sleep and rest to calm your worry and anxiety down for the night and sleep in peace.
Having trouble sleeping?
I feel your pain.
I’ve struggled to sleep well since I was a kid.
So much so that when I was in college, I started taking melatonin every night…and I continued to do that for a full decade (if you are doing this, please make sure to read my post on why NOT to take melatonin every night!).
Of course, there are a lot of pieces of our physical health that affect sleep (you can read my advice for that piece in my 10 Tips For A Better Night of Sleep post) but don’t discount the mental and spiritual parts, as well.
When our minds are racing with worry and anxiety, it is so difficult to even rest, much less fall asleep.
God knows how real that struggle is for you and His Word talks about it.
Read on to see Bible verses on sleep but also how God can offer you rest on your most stressful nights.
Scriptures On Sleep
I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.
This Psalm is such a beautiful reminder of God being our Jehovah-Jireh, our provider of everything…sleep and rest included!
In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.
What a beautiful picture this verse paints – being able to sleep in peace because the Lord is protecting us, keeping us safe.
I know when David was writing the psalms, he was often in physical danger, but he also talks about his emotional distress often and I can sure relate to that.
My worries, anxieties, fears, and “what-ifs” are really good att interrupting my sleep, but even there, “you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety.”
Such comforting reassurance.
In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat— for he grants sleep to those he loves.
I love thinking about sleep as a gift of God’s outpouring of love to me. He created us to work but also to rest and when I can allow myself to experience that rest fully, it sure feels like a precious gift to wake up feeling rested and rejuvenated!
When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
I had a friend in college who used a phrase to say goodnight that I’d never heard before. She’d say, “sleep sweet” before heading to bed at night.
I’ve used that phrase myself ever since and now I say it to my son before every nap and bedtime. I just love it.
Sleep doesn’t have to just be your head hitting the pillow or some monotonous part of your routine every night. It can be sweet – something to be savored, something to look forward to, sink into, and enjoy.
The sleep of a laborer is sweet, whether they eat little or much, but as for the rich, their abundance permits them no sleep.
I love this idea laid out in Ecclesiastes that hard work produces sweet sleep and I think it has been backed by research I’ve read, as well.
When we work had during the day, we sleep harder at night. Things like exercise, movement, cooking, all different kinds of work during the day can help produce sweet sleep at night.
But those lazy days? The days where I sit around, watch TV, and don’t really do anything at all, I struggle much more to fall asleep.
I love that God created us for both of those purposes – work and rest – and that they fuel each other.
Scriptures On Rest
The Lord replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
Laying awake at night can feel so lonely. It feels like the rest of the world is sleeping and you, alone, are laying there wide awake.
Even though I know God is always with me, I love every reminder Scripture gives in every circumstance. The Lord is with you and will give you rest.
The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.
When I’m struggling to fall asleep at night, this is the Bible verse I use most. I don’t just recite the words. I picture them. I experience them.
I picture Jesus standing right there with me in green pastures, beside a quiet lake. I feel Him refreshing my soul.
Even when it doesn’t immediately send me to sleep, it covers me in peace and comfort.
Be still, and know that I am God.
You would think being still would be an easy thing to do, but it’s surprisingly difficult for me!
Even when my body is still, my mind is still racing at 100 miles an hour with work plans, recipe ideas, thoughts about my son, and running through my to do list.
It sounds like it should be a passive thing but, for me, being still and knowing that He is God is an active, intentional choice on my part,
It’s a choice that slows those thoughts down, takes them captive, and lays them at God’s feet. It’s an act of trust and faith, letting them go out of my death grip and handing them over to His Almighty loving care.
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day,
When I was in abusive marriage, I prayed this verse often, sitting in my dark closet hidden behind a row of hanging shirts. I felt like I was constantly under attack and I clung so tightly to the promises in this verse.
No matter what troubles you are experiencing in your life, God is your refuge and your fortress.
In His presence, you can rest in safety.
“Return to your rest, my soul, for the LORD has been good to you.”
I start every morning by writing at least three things I’m grateful for in my prayer journal (I have 31 gratitude journal prompts here if you want to try it yourself).
God is always good to me but it’s when I recognize it that I’m able to return to rest and experience more of His goodness.
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
I probably say this verse to myself at least once a day.
I’m a planner so I’m always thinking ahead but, unfortunately, those worries so easily sneak into my plans and I always catch myself sinking into “what ifs” that are completely unnecessary at that moment.
It’s amazing the burden you can let go of and the rest you can experience by being fully present in the moment and not living 5 steps ahead of yourself.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
I yearn for that – rest for my soul.
Just like I described above, I think we so often take on burdens that aren’t ours to carry. We try to control things that are completely out of our control.
I absolutely want to learn from Jesus and take on His yoke of gentleness and humility, carrying only the things I was meant to carry.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
God’s peace that passes understanding is one of the greatest gifts of His I’ve been able to experience.
There have been moments when no one would have blamed me for being a basket case because it just made sense to feel stressed in the situation in the world’s eyes. It’s the “normal” response, right?
But God’s peace isn’t dependent on your circumstances. It isn’t earned or won…it’s a gift that doesn’t always make sense in our situation, but a beautiful thing to experience in stress and anguish.
Trusting God in our darkest valleys, letting His light fade our fears away, gives us the most beautiful gift of rest.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
I love that this verse is so clear in the steps we can take to combat our anxieties. He doesn’t just end it with, “Stop worrying.” That would be like telling me not to push the big red button (which would make me just stare at the button, wanting to push it more than ever).
No, instead, he says don’t be anxious…instead, pray, be grateful, ask God for help.
I have used that “formula” time and time again and, sometimes it takes awhile, but always results in more peace.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”
These qualities – things that are true, noble, right, pure, and lovely – when I fix my mind on those things, I can practically feel my shoulders un-tense, my thoughts slow down, and my joy increase.
It feels like worry is the easy, more natural response, but intentionally choosing to direct your thoughts on these things? It is worth every ounce of effort.
1 Peter 5:7
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
1 Peter 5:7
There have been so many verses above talking about handing God our burdens and taking His yoke upon us.
Our pastor sometimes has us visualize actually doing this – picturing whatever it is we are worrying about in our hands and handing it over to Jesus.
That imagery can be so helpful for me when I’m feeling stuck in my worries.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
The reminders in the Bible that talk about God not giving like the world gives never gets old to me.
We live in this world and get so used to the way it functions that it’s hard to imagine that God just doesn’t work the same way.
A Blessing For Sleep And Rest
May God cover you with His peace that passes all understanding, no matter what you are experiencing right now, and that you would be able to hand your burdens to Him and sink deeper into the safety and comfort of His rest, allowing your body to sleep in peace.