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This season of life has me busier than I have known in a long time. I feel as if I can’t do anything really well, and so I’m just getting by. I know that I can do all the things that are on my plate, but how well I do them is up to me.

It is going to take some time and a new sense of discipline in my life. Getting up earlier, which means that it’s still dark. But that also means going to bed earlier too. How does that work?

Well, there are only 24 hours in a day, so that has to be what we work with, right? I wish I could manufacture just 2–3 more hours of time! It always seems as if that’s about how many hours I feel that I need more in order to get all my work done. However, I don’t know about you, but at the end of the day, I am exhausted! If I got those extra hours, they would definitely have to be morning hours.

We all have a lot that we’re juggling, whether it’s baby sleep schedules, energetic children, work, or family life. Despite that, the one thing I have learned I cannot give up is sleep. Many people can survive on just 5–6 hours of sleep consistently, or so they think. I can’t. I need a good 7–8 hours to be at my best. But what does that mean, best?

One key thing I have learned this past year is the importance of good sleep. Our bodies were made to need sleep. For some people, good sleep is elusive. You remember the days when you used to get a good night’s sleep, but you just can’t seem to find those nights anymore. Maybe it’s because of babies, maybe it’s because of life stress keeping you up.

That is the key reason right there that sleep does indeed have a direct correlation with our overall health. We all know that stress affects our health. If we think that it doesn’t, we’re fooling ourselves. But what does this have to do with food and eating?

I have the conversation with my husband all the time that we can feed our bodies all this great food and still not make the progress with our health that we think we should be making. Hair is still falling out. My stomach is still a mess. You name it. But feeding our bodies all this great food costs money. It’s an investment of time and resources. Why do it if it isn’t going to provide full relief of my symptoms? Because it’s just part of your story.

I will tell you that the difference I have noticed is when I do get consistently good nights of sleep, my symptoms almost entirely go away. And the funny thing, I sleep better when I feed myself better. So don’t give up making dietary changes. If you have made some changes but don’t see the results you’d like, try getting more sleep.

Most of us just aren’t able to sleep in most mornings, so that means getting to bed earlier. For me that means winding down after 9 pm. Yes, sometimes it feels a bit early, but not most days. When the day starts at 5 am, a 10 pm bedtime is reasonable, and for me necessary.

Ladies, your face will thank you for the extra sleep too! You know those crows feet and other fine lines that are creeping their way onto your face? Those dramatically improve with sleep (and a night cream helps too!). They don’t call it beauty sleep for nothing.

So tonight, instead of staying up binge watching your favorite show, grab a book. Curl up in bed earlier than usual, even if that means leaving the kitchen a mess. You can tackle that in the morning. When was the last time that you actually woke up feeling rested? Make it tomorrow.