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To be honest with you I find that I need between eight and nine hours sleep a night to function optimally. I can really feel it when I don’t get the amount of sleep that I need and it impacts every other facet of my life.

I find that when I do not get enough sleep over a few days, I begin to lose the mental battles with myself. These battles can be as small as meaning to put in a load of laundry or cleaning up the kitchen but choosing instead to sit in front of the TV or computer doing nothing. If this continues to go on I find that my house begins to get more cluttered and I begin to feel worse or more lethargic about everything around me.

A good friend of mine tells me that a cluttered house directly relates to a cluttered mind. When I sat down and thought about this, I had to agree. When my house is cluttered I tend to have less drive and tenacity to see things through and clean up. Yet, if my house is already tidy I tend to be much quicker on picking up around it to keep it in tip top shape. Mentally I feel better when I have a clean home and environment. (For a great website about increasing your personal productivity and other fun stuff go to: burnthenegative.com)

A lack a sleep seems to start me down a short path back into a cluttered mind and environment. I should also mention that too much sleep leads me down that same path. Maybe Robert Frost was talking about sleep in the poem “The Road Not Taken”. Today the lack of sleep is definitely the road most traveled and proper rest is the one less traveled.

As sleep is a restorative process that functions in waves the distortion of those waves can cause the brain to be out of balance. When you are already out of balance due to depression it can quickly lead down a dangerous path. I always find during these difficult times that I am unable to control what I eat and don’t eat. I lose the battle with food. Mentally I give in to the foods that make me feel better and may give me an immediate jolt of energy but not what is best for my body in the long run.
I have also found out that I am not the only one, as a study in Wisconsin determined that individuals (no distinct depressed or non-depressed group) that get less than eight hours sleep a night increase their BMI (Body Mass Index) by a proportional amount of decreased sleep. Talk about a left, right, combo for depressed obese people.

This is a huge reason why I do my best to keep a regular sleeping pattern. This also includes on the weekends as well. There is no more extra sleeping in or staying up extremely late every weekend. I try and keep the same bedtime schedule throughout the whole month.

And for those of you who think this isn’t possible, I am able to do it with a toddler who isn’t even three yet. Therefore, there should be no reason why others cannot keep a standard sleeping schedule. I also found that the more regular my schedule the more in tune my body becomes with the schedule and I have no need for sleeping pills or other medicine to fall and stay asleep. Do your best to keep yourself properly rested so your mind and body will function well.