Q: I have night terrors when I sleep. When I wake up, I don’t have any memory of them. Yet, I don’t feel rested at night. Is there anything in the Bible that can be helpful?
A: A friend of mine mentioned she too suffered from night terrors. My immediate thought went to Psalm 91:5, and I told her to pray with this verse: “Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night.”
She really embraced the message and promise. But, then I started pondering the next part of the verse: “nor for the arrow that flieth by day.”
I wondered if those “arrows” were what caused the night terrors. We started talking about the overwhelming amount of responsibilities placed on her at such a young age. Everyone depended on her to take care of their emotions, do all the cooking and cleaning, plus work outside the home.
She didn’t feel she could say no to anyone, and this put an insurmountable amount of pressure and anxiety on her life. She said yes to everything because she didn’t want to hurt anyone or have someone feel as though she wasn’t “there” for them.
As she shared her struggles to please everyone and recognized she had spread herself too thin, she also realized she disappointed those whom she wished to bless. She couldn’t do it all.
That evening she discussed our conversation with her mom, and they came to the conclusion that she needed to delegate some of her responsibilities with people who were the recipients of her nurturing talents.
A few days later, I asked her if she continued to have night terrors. Yes, she replied, but much less and more peaceful sleep patterns. Again, I went back to the “arrows that flieth by day” quote.
She revealed she was upset about being left alone. The last of her siblings was moving to be nearer the rest of their family, and she could not move for a while. She felt this was key to eliminating these night terrors.
I assured her God’s love for her is always present and will comfort her.
The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee. Jeremiah 31:3
So, if you are dealing with nightmares or night terrors, rest assured that God has a solution. Pray and ask God to reveal to you what are those “arrows” pointed at you that are making you a target for terror. Here are some Bible verses to support your prayers.
Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. — Isaiah 41:9-11
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. – 2 Timothy 1:6-8
I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety. — Psalms 4: 8
When I adopted my daughter at age 3, she experienced great anxiety in the middle of the night and would seem to wake up. When I mentioned this to people involved in the adoption process, they explained that these were night terrors.