I LOVE sleep!! Well, I love it when I get a good night’s sleep. In the past, I had a few years of not getting good sleep, so I appreciate a quality night’s sleep even more now. Clutterers and hoarders often have sleep struggles—needing to sleep a lot during the day, and/or having trouble sleeping at night. And these struggles can make decluttering harder.
There are lots of good things that good sleep helps with. One of the most important happens right in your brain. During the night when you’re sleeping your brain gets the chance to clear out all the ‘waste’ that’s produced during the day when your brain is working so hard. It’s kind of like a night janitor. Without hours of good sleep, your brain can’t get its cleaning and maintenance done, and it will be harder to make decisions and take action—things you really need to declutter. So getting good sleep is really important!
Sleep Tip: It’s OK to Wake Up
Did you know it’s OK if you wake up during the night? It can be part of our body’s natural rhythm to wake up for a bit during the night. If you do wake up, don’t stress about it. Getting upset about being awake can make it harder to fall back asleep. Instead, take this chance to nurture yourself and your mind by focusing on a positive, helpful thought. The best thought I’ve found to use is “I love myself”. So the next time you wake up at night, snuggle into your covers a bit more and give yourself the healing power of loving yourself.
Sleep Tip: Turn Out the Lights
Light can really mess with your sleep. Set up your bedroom to be as dark as possible. If you’ve got a bright alarm clock, either get rid of it, or find a way to dim the light. If you tend to need a nighttime bathroom visit, keep the light to a minimum in the bathroom. Maybe even just a little lamp or flashlight to see the basics and nothing more.
When you get up in the morning, do the opposite. Get as much natural light as early in your day as possible. This helps to set your body’s circadian rhythms which are the natural cycles that help you feel awake in the daytime and sleepy at night.
Sleep Tip: Turn Off the TV
Make a plan so that you turn off the TV an hour before you go to bed. The light from the TV (and any other electronics) really messes with your sleep cycle. Even if your eyes are closed, the light still gets in. The best is to get screens out of your bedroom completely. This will help your body see your bedroom as a place to sleep (rather than just be sleepy).
If you tend to read on a tablet before bed, use the ‘blue shade’ or ‘night’ feature. This turns off the type of light that tends to mess with your sleep cycle. And stick to gentle reading at bedtime. Avoid anything that will fire up your brain or your emotions.
Sleep Tip: How to Start the Day
Eventually, you will have a decluttered bedroom to enjoy. As you work towards this, start with decluttering the first thing you see when you wake up in the morning. This is usually the bedside table. Keep as few things as possible here: something beautiful, and only the things you absolutely need like your eye glasses and your alarm. Having a calm surface to look at first thing in the morning is a lovely way to start your day.
Once you’re out of bed, make the bed right away. Creating this habit is a way of telling yourself that sleep is done for now, and your bed is ready for the nighttime. I think making your bed is a great self-care habit and a way of setting the stage for one of the most important things we do—sleep!