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TERRI’S TIP JULY 2019


Sleep and Organization: A Match that Helps Both

It’s no secret that the number of hours people sleep is on the decline, yet the need for a full seven hours hasn’t. While organization might not be the first thing you’d think of to enhance your sleep, it can. Your sleep cycle is affected by your habits and behaviors as well as your mental health. We’ve put together the short list of how organization can help you sleep along with the sleep habits that will keep you on track long term.

An Organized Mind Can Rest
The state of your home and, in particular, your bedroom impacts the success of your sleep. First, are the practical concerns. A bedroom that’s difficult to navigate due to clothes, books, or any of the other items that find their way into the bedroom is a room you don’t necessarily want to be in.

You can subconsciously avoid the bedroom to avoid the mess. That means later bedtimes and less sleep. Others, who may find themselves in a 
hoarding situation, face even bigger issues. If the clutter has made its way onto the bed, there might not be enough room for comfortable sleep.

Psychologically, the brain has to be prepared to fall asleep. It’s not just clutter that can get in the way of that. A home office or gym in the bedroom can have a similar effect. The brain sees your laptop, elliptical, or unfolded laundry and may put you in “awake” mode because it thinks that’s what you’re meant to do. Organization is all about sending your brain the right messages.


Worry-free Nighttime Travel
Organization is also a nighttime safety issue. Nighttime bathroom trips can be hazardous when the bedroom floor becomes an obstacle course. You want your brain and body to do as little as possible during nighttime wake ups so that it’s easier to fall back asleep. An organized bedroom has open floor space that reduces the chances of an injury. Add a motion-activated nightlight and you’re set for easy nighttime travel.

Less Stress and Anxiety
How do you feel when everywhere you turn there’s a pile of clutter? Stress and anxiety are serious sleep disruptors, and clutter can add to or cause the stress that makes it hard to fall asleep.

Without enough sleep, the 
area of the brain that processes emotionsreacts strongly to any negative or stressful situation. Clutter prevents you from getting to the bed or makes you feel stressed, which then causes you to sleep poorly. Then, you’re sleep deprived, the clutter makes you feel even more stressed, and the cycle continues.

Sleep Habits You Can’t Ignore
Controlling clutter is only one part of improving your sleep. It has to be used in conjunction with healthy sleep habits to help you long term.

Your body craves a regular schedule, and it adapts to your daily routine. However, if that routine isn’t conducive to sleep, you could be in trouble. Here are some sleep habits you’ll want to incorporate:
  • Eat Regularly Spaced Meals: Your brain looks for behavior patterns to help it control sleep. By eating meals at predictable times, it creates a pattern the brain recognizes and uses it to time the sleep cycle.
  • Rely on Your Bedtime: Even more important than consistent meals is a predictable bedtime. Consistency allows the brain to anticipate when to start your sleep cycle.
  • Use Your Bedtime Routine Wisely: Bedtime routines can include anything that relaxes you. While picking up your bedroom may not seem relaxing, if it’s the first activity in your routine, you can slowly work your way to the calming activities like taking a bath or reading a book. If you perform the routine in the same order each day, it acts as a signpost that points your brain toward sleep.
  • Think Comfortable: Your mattress, the room temperature, and sound and light levels should all be conducive to sleep. The mattress should conform to your body, taking into account your weight and preferred sleep position. Keep it cool, dark, and quiet and you should be ready to go.

    Conclusion
    A cluttered room can clutter the mind, making it difficult to get the rest you need. A consistent effort to keep your life (and bedroom) organized can reduce stress and put you on track for a full seven to nine hours of sleep. Thanks to Ellie Porter of Sleephelp.org for the article


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