The Miracle of Sleep


I recently found a Grade Four reader that was published in 1949, called Golden Windows, Pathway to Reading, and there was a little poem in it that inspired this article:

Should fairies three all come to me,

And say, “What gifts are best?”

I’m sure I’d say, “Bring gifts today

Of love, and peace and rest.”

 Seventy years have passed since those words were published and yet, if I could ask for any gift, those gifts would still be BEST!

So many times, I have dragged myself off to bed, exhausted from trying to fit too many things into one day of activity. About six o’clock the next morning, I climb out of bed feeling refreshed and renewed, and ready to start a brand – new day, A good night’s sleep would seem to have miraculous powers. By letting go and giving oneself, heart and soul to the Lord, we will usually have a contented sleep.

Just ask someone who is not able to sleep what they feel they are missing. No amount of pills seem to be able to help them abandon their life and their problems to the Lord. Praying for God’s help once we are ready to go to sleep will usually quiet our minds and prepare us for a good night’s rest.

Some people face a cross every evening as they have trouble getting to sleep. Their minds are full and it is difficult to let go of the burdens of their day. Perhaps it is a financial problem, family issues or a health reason that keeps them from letting go and falling asleep.

Of course, anyone can have a nightmare or a bad dream that can disturb their sleep, and once again, it may take a few Hail Marys or other simple prayers to take them back to sleep.

Sleep is miraculous because the human body finds a way to heal and revive itself through the night. What a gift God gave us in this time of rest. No doubt that is another reason that Sunday was designated as a day of rest, and years ago, we worked only six of the seven days of the week, and prayed and rested every Sunday.

As for the other two gifts that the poem speaks about, love and peace, well there is no greater love than the love of Our Saviour Jesus. It truly is a reciprocal love; the more we open our hearts to Him and His presence, the more He will provide us with His peace. His peace and His love are truly healing.

May the love of Christ calm the hearts and minds of all of those who are restless, and in need of a good night’s sleep. May they find rest upon their pillows tonight!

Joan Levy Earle is an author and artist living in Cornwall, Ontario. She is the former Associate Editor of the Canadian Messenger of the Sacred Heart magazine.

  • darcy Mann
    Posted at 07:42h, 16 July Reply

    Joan, you are so right. A very large number of the population has some kind of sleep disorder, even if it is as simple as just a restless sleep. People today are living busy and more worrisome lives than ever before. A few prayers before bed certainly wouldn’t hurt. Take care..

  • Peter Bisson SJ
    Posted at 18:37h, 16 July Reply

    Thank you Joan!

  • Philip Shano
    Posted at 14:59h, 17 July Reply

    Thanks Joan. I’m one of the many who struggles with sleep. I used to boldly proclaim that sleep was for losers. That covered up my struggling. But I now admit that I love getting a good night of sleep. Thanks for the post. I owe you a note

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