While Restless Legs Syndrome affects millions of Americans, what I call Restless Mind Syndrome affects countless more. Do you ever lay down at night to sleep, but your mind won’t turn off? Do your thoughts ever ruminate with worry as you chew on “what ifs”?
Did you know that as women, our brains are wired differently than men’s brains? We have more connective tissue or gray matter in our brains. While this allows us to focus on multiple things at once (a baby crying, while simultaneously cooking dinner and listening for the washer spin cycle to stop) it also makes it harder to disconnect and “power down” at night to reboot.1 Women thus can be more prone to think about multiple things and worry.
Now I know what the Bible has to say about worry from verses like Philippians 4:6-7 where I’m told:
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
Most nights I pray myself to sleep. But some nights worry still seeps in like a stealth software virus that won’t let my system power down.
On those nights I slip out of bed, closing the bedroom door behind me. Then I walk and talk to God. Sometimes I sing hymns.
Even though I’m moving, my soul is at rest. Even though I’m loud, my heart is quiet. So maybe my restless legs with God’s help brings rest to my heart.
I’ll be the first to say, I’d rather fall asleep effortlessly, but God has His ways. I know He has my best interests at heart (Ephesians 2:4). And though my vision is blurry, my spiritual vision is Windex-clear as I see the promise of 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 which reminds me:
“For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.”
When I do finally return to bed, I don’t count sheep but rather I count my blessings. God knows I have so much to learn that sometimes He chooses to teach me late into the night!
While you may not know the frustration of Restless Leg Syndrome, might you have annoyances like worry that make you restless? If you’re not wired to worry, might you have aches and pains, that disrupt your plans?
On our journey forward, what blessings might be disguised as irritations and what lessons might be learned by these annoyances? These are questions I ask myself when everyone else is sleeping.