Does your world feel like it is running on empty? If it does it’s probably because of two major things that I can see.

First of all, you most likely have a full agenda of family and work life and wonder at the start of your day how you will make it.

It literally takes your breath away when you consider all that you are expected to do.

So, most of us ignore the feeling and carry on.

However, the newspapers, research and blogosphere are being filled with articles about how sleep deprived most of us are.

It is estimated 20% of North Americans are sleep deprived.

Imagine that could be the person driving the car beside you.

We are operating at less than optimal health because we have accumulated a sleep deprivation that is starving our physical, emotional and intellectual limits.

Now, it’s easy to say, if you are tired then just get more sleep.

It doesn’t seem that easy because when we go to bed our mind turns its energy to all the things we did not do, all the things we are planning to do and all the things we hope to do.

In a recent newspaper article the story was how olympians and scientists are studying the effects of sleep and how it can make the difference between winning and losing.

What column would you put your life? The rested winner or the tired competitor?

Sleep deprivation is a growing social problem causing workers to be less productive and contributing to less than optimal heart health.

The research shows a definite correlation between being rested and optimal performance.

The challenge of course, is that you are so busy you can hardly take a breath much less a nap.

Yet, naps are a good idea. Isn’t that what they do at daycare?

The kids are recharged and ready to go. Maybe there is something to this idea.

Here are some tips I’ve gleaned from studying this topic.

Turn off the computer, iPad and phone at least an hour or two before bed. The intense excitement within your brain when you are on these devices keeps you awake.

Have a nap in the afternoon. No more than thirty minutes seems optimal. Wouldn’t it be great if all our offices had nap rooms.

Not a good idea to eat before bed or ingest caffeinated drinks.

Become mindful of how you are during the day. When you learn to notice how you are physically, emotionally and intellectually you can take a quiet moment (restrooms are good for this) and bring yourself back into alignment.

Your optimal life is waiting for you.

This is who you are.

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