New Ideas for Better Sleep – Part II – Time out of time

IMG_2443This weekend I spent some time at Camp O-AT-KA on Sebago Lake in Maine.  It’s a throw-back boys camp reminiscent of Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kindom (but no one escapes from Camp O-AT-KA so please send your boys!).

At Camp O-AT-KA time is measured by bugle calls.  When I asked my eleven-year old what time to show up for breakfast he said “after the second bugle call.”  At Camp O-AT-KA timing is more important than time, natural rhythms more important than watches.

In our modern world we tend to forsake natural rhythms at great cost to our mental and physical health.  From the moment we wake up, we push rest and recovery away by over-consuming caffeine, information, and other stimulants.  We tend to brag about being over-scheduled and under-rested.   In his Healthy Sleep and Dreaming workshop, Dr. Rubin Naiman talks about “keeping sleep close.”   After all, if we chase it away all day like a bothersome animal, sleep may not want to come to us in the evening.

Today, try this:

Research shows that napping and resting boost creativity and problem solving.  Today, allow yourself to take a mindful siesta.  Make mid-day downtime a firm commitment in your schedule.  If you can actually lay down, do so for only twenty to thirty minutes.  The ideal nap is a light sleep that leaves you feeling refreshed, not groggy.  You can rest by moving away from your computer and taking some gentle stretches.  If you absolutely can’t move away from your screen try a meditation app like calm.com or headspace and focus on your breathing, allowing yourself to luxuriate in a half-awake state.

Don’t be afraid to take some time out of time.  You will return to work with more physical energy and more brain power, and you may just sleep better tonight.

Leave a comment.  Let us know how ‘time out of time’ works for you.

We wish you twenty minutes of mindfulness every day!

 

 

 

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