As a young child, I wasn’t afraid of the dark like a lot of kids are, but I was afraid of mirrors at night. I had a mirror in my bedroom and I could not sleep unless it was covered. If I woke up in the night needing to use the bathroom, I avoided looking at the bathroom mirror, or I switched on the light. I just could not handle seeing anything moving in a mirrored surface in the dark. I think I’ve talked myself into the logic of this being an irrational fear, but a lot of children are afraid of the dark. Lots of people experience night terrors and nightmares when they are young, and lots of people, like I did, imagine seeing things in the dark that are not really there. I think all of this behavior boils down to a single lie, and that is that the devil rules the night. The logic is that if the sun and the brightness of day are symbolic of the Savior and his light, then nighttime must belong to the dark side. When I started really questioning this, I could not find any evidence that it’s true. So why are we afraid? Why are people afraid of spooky cemeteries at night and dark alleys? Why do horror movies always take place at night? Frightening things always seem to happen in the absence of light.
I have not been able to find anything in the scriptures that says that the devil has any more power in the night time than he does during the day, but I think that’s what he wants us to believe. When we sleep, our bodies heal themselves, eliminate toxins, and process the events of our day, so if the evil one can disrupt this time of healing and reparation, he’s won a victory. And if he can get us to believe that if we are asleep we are not in control of our bodies or our minds, he can invade our dreams and disrupt our rest. I want to dispel this lie because it simply isn’t true.
“Sleep, new research reveals, is a master regulator of health. A sleep deficit or disruption can create wide-ranging havoc, compromising our immune system, causing inflammation, and damaging our genes. Lack of sleep can also lead to memory loss, negatively affect people’s reflexes and decision-making skills, cause hearing loss and psychiatric disease, and impede sexual function. Why? Because when we don’t get enough sleep, our immune systems go into overdrive, which causes systemic inflammation and turns on dangerous genetic switches.” (Pamela Weintraub, “The Healing Power of Sleep”)
Think of all the positive things that happen at night. Not only is the sleep state a time when the physical body can heal and repair and process, many people have prophetic and inspired dreams. Some people get their best ideas while they’re asleep. Writers, musicians, scientists, philosophers and entrepreneurs have often created their best work after dreaming about it. Even Jesus Christ was born during the night, when a new star could be visible in the sky. We do have control over what our minds and our bodies experience while we are asleep. If the subconscious mind can influence our bodies while we are awake, why couldn’t it be influencing it while we sleep? Our spirits have the power to protect us. The truth is, night time is not your enemy; night time is your friend. If you are experiencing disturbances and disruptions, consider what you may be able to do to correct them. Your body needs those precious hours of night to renew itself and provide you your best ideas to carry out the next day.