One of my favorite Christian Humanist Philosophers, Sir Thomas Brown, wrote a book in 1643 called Religio Medici (The Religion of a Doctor). Sir Thomas was a practicing physician and had a deep curiosity towards the natural world, and he also had wide learning in diverse fields including both science and religion. He wrote in his book that sleep so resembles death that he dare not go to sleep without saying his prayers and bidding the world adieu each night in a colloquy with God and before turning in at the end of each day he recited this prayer and by the time he reached the end of it he was asleep. Perhaps it will have the same effect on you as it does on me. I call it the long form of "Now I lay me down to sleep." In any case it is charming.
Sir Thomas wrote as a preface: "This is the dormative I take to bedward; I need no other Laudanum than this to make me sleep; after which I close my eyes in security content to take my leave of the sun and sleep unto the resurrection"
"The night is come like to the day
Depart not Thou Great God away.
Let not my sins, black as the night,
Eclipse the luster of Thy light.
Keep still in my horizon, for me,
The sun makes not the day, but Thee.
Thou whose nature cannot sleep,
On my temples sentry keep;
Guard me against those watchful foes,
Whose eyes are open while mine are closed.
Let no dreams my head infest,
But such as Jacob's temples blest.
While I do rest my soul advance,
Make my sleep a holy trance;
That I may, my rest being wrought,
Awake into some happy thought.
And with as active vigor run
My course, as doth the nimble sun.
Sleep is a death, O make me try,
By sleeping what it is to die.
And down as gently lay my head
Upon my grave as now my bed.
However I rest, great God let me
Awake again at last with Thee.
And thus assured, behold I lie
Securely, whether to wake or die.
These are my drowsy days in vain
Now I do wake to sleep again.
O come that hour when I shall never
Sleep this again, but wake forever!"
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