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A Bible on a nightstand next to an unlit candle remind you to keep God's Word near when you can't sleep.

Can’t Sleep? Here are 10 Bible Verses to Calm Your Mind 

There’s little that’s more frustrating than not being able to fall asleep, especially before a big day. But it seems to be when insomnia hits the most. Your mind keeps swirling with so many thoughts that you just can’t sleep. Frustrating for sure, but not impossible to conquer. 

Some Reasons We Can’t Sleep 

Reasons we can’t sleep abound. For as many people as there are in the world, that’s how many reasons exist. Here are just a few: 

Physical Health Issues 

From headaches to autoimmune diseases, our health affects our sleep—and vice versa. Even if we’re completely healthy, we might be concerned about someone else’s health. When my kids were little, their fevers kept me wakeful all through the night. My concern for them translated into no sleep for me. If you consistently can’t sleep, go see your doctor. Find out if there are underlying issues before dismissing your insomnia with frustration instead of treating yourself with compassion. 

Mental Health Issues 

Depression and anxiety can have a detrimental effect on your sleep. The opposite is true as well: when you don’t sleep well, you are 10x more likely to experience depression or anxiety. If you’re struggling with a mental-health issue, seek out a professional counselor. Dig out the root so you can start experiencing peace and good rest again. 

Relationship Problems 

One of my least favorite phrases is “we need to talk.” Boy does that get my head spinning. What do we need to talk about? Did I do something wrong? Is the person mad at me? If we are unable to have that needed conversation right then, I can’t sleep well until it happens. My mind jumps to all sorts of conclusions. If you’re having a problem with a significant other, a child, a parent, or a friend, your sleep can be highly affected. Whenever possible, seek to resolve issues as soon as you can so they’re not hanging over your head. If face-to-face conversation is required but schedules are hard to coordinate, see if a video option will work just as well.  

Financial Concerns 

Here’s a tip: Don’t work on your budget right before bedtime. This can only bring to the forefront financial concerns that can rob you of sleep. Maybe you’ve got bills stacking up, are out of a job, or just don’t know how to make ends meet. If everything else in your life seems in order, a big reason you can’t sleep could be your worry over finances

The list goes on and on. Maybe you just need a new mattress. Whatever the cause, God wants you to cast your cares on Him and let Him handle all your concerns.  

A man reads his Bible before bed when he can't sleep.

10 Bible Verses to Calm Your Mind

If the reason you can’t sleep is in the process of being resolved, you can still quiet the turmoil in your mind in the meantime so you can sleep. I often find that Scripture, praise music, and prayer help calm my mind. Here are some of my go-to verses. 

Isaiah 26:3

“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.”

Focusing your mind on God instead of your worries makes a huge difference. Try this: put your hand right in front of your face, touching your nose. What do you see? Only your hand, right? Now move that hand back until your arm is straight. What do you see now? Your problems and concerns can look a lot smaller if you don’t keep them as your focus. Make God your focus. 

Psalm 73:26

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

When my husband and I were experiencing infertility many years ago, this verse anchored me. If your flesh is failing you or your heart is broken, let God be your strength and portion. Memorize this verse and repeat it while you slowly and deeply breathe in and out as you lie down to sleep. 

1 Peter 5:7

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

This is another verse that you can use as a breath prayer. Even raising your hands with open palms as you picture releasing all your cares to God. Say it over and over again. He cares for you.  

Psalm 138:8

“The Lord will accomplish what concerns me; Your faithfulness, Lord, is everlasting; Do not abandon the works of Your hands.”

God’s plans for me and you are perfect. And He will accomplish them. Keeping faith in the good God we know He has been—and will always be—allows us to be at peace when we can’t sleep. 

Listen to a short segment of this special sleep recovery meditation from Abide. Intended to help you go back to sleep if you wake up in the middle of the night, this meditation about relationship concerns will soothe your aching heart. 

Romans 8:28

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

There is very little that is more comforting than knowing that God is for me. He will not only accomplish His purposes in me, but those purposes and plans are always good. Now, good doesn’t always mean comfortable. But it does mean that you will be made more like Jesus. Let “all things work together for good” flow through your mind when you can’t sleep and wonder what God is doing. 

Psalm 34:18

“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”

Friend, when you can’t sleep because you are brokenhearted and crushed in spirit, please remember that God is near. He has never left your side. Allow Him to show Himself in a way you might never have experienced before. 

Philippians 4:6-7

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Now I know it’s easy to say, “do not be anxious,” but I think the Apostle Paul tells us how to do that: pray, give thanks, ask God for what you need. His peace will follow. When you intentionally acknowledge the goodness of God in the past, even when you’re not feeling it right now, you can experience His peace. Ask yourself, “What about God has changed since then?” The answer? Nothing. He is always the same. If He was good in the past, He is still good today. 

Hands clasped in prayer on a Bible in the dark for when you can't sleep.

Lamentations 3:22-23

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

The Hebrew word used here for “steadfast love” is khesed. It means “kindness, goodness, faithfulness.” Those words sound familiar? You can find them in Galatians 5 when Paul talks about the fruit of the Spirit. These characteristics are a part of who God is. He cannot act outside of His character. He can’t be anything but kind, and good, and faithful. Khesed. Memorize that word. Let it calm your mind when you can’t sleep. God’s mercies never come to an end. 

Matthew 6:27

“And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?”

Worry and stress cannot add to your life and can, in fact, have a detrimental effect. Stress takes a huge toll on your body. Let Jesus carry your burdens. When I can’t sleep because I’m worried about something happening in my life, I repeat this verse to myself as a reminder that my worry accomplishes absolutely nothing.  

Psalm 4:8

“In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.”

Ahhhh. Doesn’t that verse just soothe your soul? King David wrote this psalm. He experienced many times in his life when he was in physical danger from enemies who wanted him dead. Satan, the adversary, is your enemy. It’s his very name. Whatever worries, fears, or concerns you have, he wants to take them and put them in the forefront of your mind. But remember that exercise we did earlier? When your problems are in the forefront, you see only the problems. God makes you dwell in safety from your enemy. Put Him at the forefront. 

Here’s another snippet of a sleep story based on Psalm 4:8. Imagine 30 or more minutes of soothing words like these.

A Prayer for When You Can’t Sleep 

Let me offer this prayer for you when you can’t sleep: 

Father God, thank You for Your khesed, Your lovingkindness that never ceases. I ask that You would be with this reader today and help them experience deep, restful sleep because they have cast all their cares on You. Help them to know that You are there. Help them to feel Your presence. As they lie in bed unable to sleep, remind them of Your Word. It brings comfort. You don’t always take away our problems or change our circumstances, but You promise to always be with us through them. Assure this reader that You are there. They have nothing to fear. They need sleep, Lord. Will you grant them that in Your great mercy?  Thank You for Your love. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen. 

As you lie down to sleep tonight, do so with great confidence that God will stay by your side. Let Abide help you as we’ve helped thousands of other people. Our more than 400 Bible-based sleep stories, like the one you got a taste of above, all exist to help you experience the peace of God as you go to bed. When you can’t sleep, we’re here to help. Download the app and start a premium subscription to gain access to our entire library of full-length sleep stories and more. Use this link for 25% off. 

Stephanie Reeves is the senior editor for Abide. She and her husband live in Orlando, Fla., as do their three adult children and one adorable grandson.