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Cant Sleep Toss the Sleep Aids and Organize Your Bedroom for the Best Sleep of Your Life

When you have trouble sleeping, do you reach for sleep aids to cure your insomnia? You are not alone. But the consequences of chronic sleep aid use can be devastating to your health. Not only can sleep aids cause depression, new research has shown that some sleep aid users can develop an eating disorder from taking sleeping pills!.

"One woman gained 100 pounds before finally realizing that Ambien was at fault.

Sleep-eating can occur spontaneously or in association with other drugs, so Ambien may not be the only culprit. But the researchers think that there's something about Ambien that leads to sleep-eating in some people. Presumably only a very small percentage of users are susceptible, but with millions of Americans taking Ambien every year, the sleep-eaters could number in the thousands.

".Source: New York Times Editorial, March 14, 2006

.It's amazing the ripple effects a single behavior can have on the rest of your life.

It's like that with organizing, too. Once you start rearranging your time, space and stuff, the ripple effects can lead to remarkable improvements in your overall energy, happiness, and even your health! I have witnessed powerful positive transformations in my clients' lives as well as in my own life as a result of becoming truly aware of the stuff that surrounds us and why it's there. The process of organizing requires that you make some tough decisions and become clear about your values and purpose.

The very act of taking charge of your stuff to make it work to support your true intentions is empowering. This is especially true in bedrooms. Many people view the bedroom as a place to put everything they don't want other people to see, or as a multifunctional space. They watch TV, exercise, work and more in the bedroom.

The ripple effect of this is often insomnia, stress and related health problems. Getting clear about the purpose of your bedroom, and organizing it to support your intention will have dramatic effects on how well you sleep.I was a chronic insomniac who took melatonin every night to help me sleep. Using a combination of organizing principles and Feng Shui strategies, I kicked the sleep aid habit and now get the best sleep of my life! Here are my top tips to help you get the sleep you need to stay energized, happy and healthy.

  • Take things that don't support sleep and romance out of your bedroom. The purpose of your bedroom is ultimately to support you in distressing and recharging you to be ready to deal with life. It should serve you by helping you relax and sleep well. If you aren't sleeping well, take a good look around your room. Do you have a computer or work desk in there? Exercise equipment? TV? Telephone? And if you have them all in there, it's no wonder you have trouble sleeping! They don't do anything to help you relax or get to sleep.

    Find new homes for them. Taking telephone out of our bedroom made a big difference for me. If you need to have one in your bedroom, at least turn the ringer off. Sleep is too important to let wrong numbers or telemarketers wake you up!

  • .
  • Clear the clutter! If your bedroom is full of clutter, your mind will be cluttered too. If your mind is cluttered, it's impossible to relax and sleep.

    Without a clutter-free foundation, the tips below won't be as effective. So start with the floor and the surfaces in your room. Later, go deeper into closets and drawers.

    Clear out the things you no longer use and donate them to someone who can use them. Put things in their proper home. If they don't have a home, make one for them. Throw out or repair anything that is broken. Finish things that are undone or get rid of them. Put your laundry in the hamper.

    Better yet, take the laundry out of the room and clean it! Clutter is stagnant energy. Clearing clutter is the foundation to releasing stuck energy and getting a good night's sleep.

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  • Give everything in your room a home so you can KEEP it free of clutter. One of the most common sources of clutter in the bedroom is clothing you've worn, but it's not dirty, so you don't want to put in the hamper yet. Designate a space for your "gently worn" clothing.

    This can be hooks placed on a door or inside your closet; a special drawer; a wardrobe shelf; a coat rack, or even a chair -- just keep them neat and don't use the floor or your bed! To maintain a clutter-free room, things need a home where it will be easy for you to find them again, AND where it will be easy to put them away. If you have drawers, but never put things in them, get rid of them. Use shelves or a wardrobe instead. If you don't have one, get a table or nightstand with a drawer or a private decorative box to keep near your bedside. Keep all your incidentals contained -- like earplugs, lotions, tissues, lint brushes, scissors, etc.

    so they don't contribute to clutter. If you have a lot of junk on your dresser, sort like with like, and put it away in one of the drawers. Use drawer dividers to give each thing a home. Designate a drawer or shelf for purses. Be creative. You don't have to do the things the way everyone else does.

    The only rule is that things need a home so they don't become clutter.

  • .
  • Dust! Keep your bedroom as well dusted as you can. Excess dust in your room makes it harder for you to breathe. It can cause allergy symptoms and seriously disturb your sleep.

    Keep dusting wipes in a utility room near your bedroom so that you can easily dust frequently. Especially if you have pets. Remember, don't only do the surfaces! Many people let dust collect under beds, furniture, on curtains, etc. for months and sometimes even years. Do in-depth dusting 2-4 times a year and you will sleep much better.

  • .
  • Position your bed advantageously. In the practice of Feng Shui, placement of objects is essential to encouraging positive energy flow.

    You should be able to see the door from your bed, but not have your bed directly in front of the door. A power position in the room allows you to feel more secure and sleep better overall.

  • .

  • Change the sheets! Your sheets can be a source of your insomnia in part because they collect dust. But they also absorb your energy! Sounds a little weird I know, but it's true. Think about it. You spend 6-8 hours a night in them. And, don't you usually sleep best when you have nice clean fresh sheets? If you don't believe me, try it anyway! What could it hurt? Make sure you change your sheets at least once a week, but for some people who are very sensitive to energy and dust, every 3 to 5 days works much better. If you have trouble sleeping, color could be part of the problem.

    Sheets in soft, restful colors like white, soft green and blue are the most relaxing.

  • .
  • Do a comfort and ergonomics check. Are your pillows the right ones for you? Is your bed soft enough to not cut off your circulation during the night? Are the colors in your room soothing? Does your alarm clock wake you up gently or do you hate the sound of it? I found it much easier to wake up once I started using a "dawn-simulating" alarm clock.
  • .
  • Let the light and air in.

    Refresh the energy in your room daily. Open your blinds and let the natural light in. If you can, air the room for at least 15 minutes as well. Fresh air is a great way to help you sleep better.

    Don't you always find you sleep great after a day outdoors?

  • .
  • Start a nighttime routine and unwind at least 1-2 hours before sleep. Don't work just before bed! Don't do bills or watch the news or any other things that can cause you stress just before bed! So many people watch the news in bed, or take work-related reading into bed with them, and then wonder why they can't sleep. Instead, choose activities that won't get your adrenaline going or stress you. Start by preparing for the next day. Make tomorrow's To Do list, pick out clothes, gather things you need to take with you, brush your teeth, hair, etc.

    Then relax. Create your own list of relaxing bedtime activities such as take a leisurely walk, stretch, do yoga, do easy light household chores like picking up, read easy-on-the-mind books and magazines, watch light TV, listen to relaxing music or whatever relaxes you. Then when you feel sleepy, roll into bed! If you try to sleep before you feel a little sleepy, you'll just toss & turn.

  • .
  • Watch what you eat.

    Are you snacking on chocolate, soda, or other foods that may have hidden caffeine in them after dinner? Are you eating sugary foods or foods with lots of chemicals in them before bed? What you eat, and when you eat it can seriously affect your sleep. If you snack before bed, choose whole, unprocessed foods as much possible! Nuts, fruit, raw veggies, and homemade low salt popcorn are far better choices than candy, chocolate, ice cream or other dessert foods. Plan ahead to avoid snacking on junk foods before bed.

  • .
  • Use earplugs. If you have a partner that snores, or even if you yourself snore, stop waking yourself up! Using earplugs changed my life and saved my marriage. Not only do I snore, so does my husband! We both used to wake ourselves and each other up constantly. Now, we both sleep much more restfully.

    It takes a little getting used to, but the rewards are well worth it. I can even sleep in hotels now! I recommend the soft foam type of earplugs. If they are too big, you can trim them to size.

  • .

  • Keep a pen and paper by your bedside. If you can't sleep, often it's because your mind is racing. Perhaps you are getting lots of ideas to solve a problem at work, or you are worried about a meeting tomorrow. Whatever is rolling around in your brain and won't stop, you need to get your thoughts on paper so you can get them off your mind! This helps clear your mental clutter so you can rest!
  • These tips will get you well on your way to organizing your life so you can get a good night's sleep! If you can't do them all alone or aren't sure which are right for you, get help.

    Your sleep is too important. It affects your physical, mental, and even spiritual health. It's not worth risking your health with the chronic use of sleep aids.
    Sweet Dreams!.

    .Ariane Benefit, M.S.Ed.

    , is a professional organizer, coach, author and speaker with over 25 years experience helping people and businesses reach new heights of performance. She has written over 80 articles which can be found on the popular "Neat Living Blog: Neat Ideas for Life" at http://www.NeatLiving.net and at http://www.OrganizingForHealth.com.

    She also publishes the "Neat Living Newsletter.".Ariane has coached hundreds of individuals to reach their goals and consulted with many of the Fortune 500. She resides in Bloomfield, NJ with her husband, Alan and three adorable Maine Coone cats. When not helping people organize their lives, she enjoys gardening, entertaining, traveling and riding her motorcycle.

    She can be reached at 973-429-2100 for private consultations and coaching. Visit her on the web at http://www.NeatLiving.org.

    By: Ariane Benefit

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