“The best bridge between despair and hope is a good night’s sleep.”

~ E. Joseph Cossman

When you’re feeling off kilter or out of whack, do a mental inventory of what’s been going on in your life lately. Have you experienced a recent trauma? Has there been a really big change in your routine? Is there a situation that’s causing a huge amount of stress? If the answer to all of these questions is no, then take a look at the more obvious things like – nutrition, exercise, and sleep.

“An hour of sleep before midnight is worth two after. Your best quality of sleep is obtained when your circadian rhythm is at its lowest point, usually between 10 pm – 5 am.” (Jason van Schie, Psychologist, People Diagnostix, WA). Getting to bed a little early a couple nights in a row can change your whole world. The National Sleep Foundation recommends regularly getting 7-9 hours of sleep.

I am one of those people who has a lot of energy. I can go and go and go, but if I don’t get enough sleep, I drag through the next day. I have the habit of going to bed between eleven and midnight. I find that I’m most productive during the early morning hours. This is when I can think clearly to write, or exercise, or invest time in my spiritual connection with my Maker. If I don’t discipline myself to go to bed at a decent hour, but I get up early anyway, I’m dragging by the time the afternoon rolls around.

If I’m feeling depleted, I love to take a power nap in the middle of the day. I attended a workshop once, that about how to get your second wind, (when you’re feeling exhausted in the middle of the day and still have a million things left to do). This is when I learned about power naps. They taught us a specific position that would produce optimum rejuvenation. Here’s how it works: Put your legs up on a chair or couch with your head and torso resting on the floor. Then for about 15 – 20 minutes breathe deeply and keep your eyes closed. In this position the oxygen and blood circulate all the way up to your brain. Set an alarm in case you fall asleep. Twenty minutes of breathing deeply in this position with your eyes closed is extremely good for your body. This practice has been life changing for me. I always feel refreshed and recharged; ready to tackle the rest of the day when I stand up. It works wonders!

If you suspect you’re a little sleep deprived, be wise and take a catnap or cancel your plans for the evening so you can go to bed early. Your body will thank you.