On the last step of the Code, you now have all steps down as a lifestyle, right? Ok, maybe not quite; it takes practice. But with discipline, The Declutter Code becomes a way of life, a new language you speak. And with that comes a life of peace and freedom. How good does that sound?
(Before you go on, make sure you read and practice Step 9 for the best results.)
Step 10: Sleep
Rest. Reset. Restart. Sleep, it’s that weapon we all have to improve our mental functioning, our stamina and our muscular strength. It sustains the body’s proper functioning, alertness and survivalism. The mind relaxes. The nervous system relaxes. The postural muscles rest. The eyes rest.
During sleep, the body repairs bones and tissues, rejuvenates cells and organs. Sleep also boosts the immune system and aids digestion.
Sleep is non-doing. It gives us a break from the day-to-day grind of doing and moving. The body moves into an inactive state. The mind rests from duties and tasks. Both are able to rest for kinesthetic, emotional and psychological rejuvenation. Both are able to restore and ready themselves for the next several hours of waking life.
We need rest as much as we need physical and mental activity.
How It Clears Clutter
Sleep helps facilitate decluttering.
When we sleep, we consciously give into letting go. We allow ourselves to unplug from agendas, appointments and obligations that keep us so busy. As can be expected with hectic schedules and way too much mentally-taxing multi-tasking, our sleep patterns and quality of sleep are affected. Insomnia happens.
Rest and productivity suffer from overthinking. Insomnia can be cured when we stop thinking about what we’re not doing.
If at bedtime we’re always worried about the day or about tomorrow, our precious time for sleep gets compromised because of poor planning. So instead of sleeping, we’re thinking about how we’re not working. We’re sabotaging both rest and productivity. A vicious cycle.
Sleep gives us time to reset. With a sufficient amount of sleep behind us, we make healthier decisions because we’re not swayed by weariness. Destruction, despair and delirium exist in a restless mind and body.
When we’re mentally fatigued, it’s difficult to steer clear of sabotaging habits like complaining, comparing and controlling. We can fall into hopeless thinking.
When we’re not mentally sharp, we don’t make the best decisions for ourselves because we’re disconnected from our Truth, from our ideal. We weaken. We start eating unhealthy foods and sweets. We start hanging with “the wrong crowd.” We start getting sick more often. We start making hasty decisions in business and we lose money and momentum.
Without enough rest, we impair our well-being out of sheer exhaustion.
What This Feels Like
Sleep feels like rest and relaxation. It feels like deliberately getting off our feet and falling into leisure. Where muscles are no longer working to keep us actively upright, but rather releasing the effort of stability and support. It feels like surrendering to shutting off. It feels like easing up, slowing down and letting go.
When we are sleepy, we feel slow, tired and lethargic. Being mentally-drained feels like exhaustion, while getting adequate sleep feels like alertness.
Sleep feels good!
There’s a lightness in spirit and a bounce in our bodies after adequate sleep. Imagine yourself on a Sunday morning after a deep sleep, waking up, sun peeking through the drapes, and you stretching your entire body as you slowly open your eyes. It’s almost magical.
A Tool for Sleeping: Your Bed
A comfortable bed is your tool in this step. Sleep in it! At least seven to eight hours a night. If you’re getting six, work up from there. Any less and you’re really impacting your holistic health, despite what you think you can “live” on.
Many of us don’t get enough sleep; we’re too preoccupied with seeking validation and approval, playing games on our phones, scrolling social media, writing to-do lists…all at bedtime. Yet we’ve all been taught that sleep keeps our bodies healthy and minds sharp. So why would we ever compromise that?
It’s easy for me to fall asleep. As soon as I hit the pillow, I’m out within seconds. This is because, during a typical day, I meditate, journal and spend some time alone, so when it comes time to sleep, I’ve done enough to take care of my mind that it can easily shut off.
It’s also important to create an environment where sleep is possible. Set the temperature just right. Get the room really dark and quiet. If it’s taking you long to fall asleep, a better mattress might help the situation.
Take a 20-minute power nap during the day; it’s the perfect amount of time to reboot. This is something I do whenever I can. Around midday, our minds and bodies have worked a lot—working on projects that require complete focus and imagination. And after lunch, our bodies slow dramatically. So a quick nap might be a welcomed respite to encourage more waking hours of productivity.
Practice Sleeping Today
Just as you would make time to work on your projects, time block your sleep. Time block between seven and eight hours of sleep each night this week. If you want to wake up at 6:00 am, count backwards seven or eight hours to arrive at your bedtime, 10:00 pm.
Write it in your calendar and set your alarm to alert you when pajamas should be on and you should be in bed, your body lying on the mattress. Adjust what you need to adjust in your schedule to make accommodations for this timeframe.
When your alarm for bed goes off, go to bed! Without books, cell phones, etc. Just you, the dark, and your pillow. Better yet, leave your phone far enough away so you have to get out of bed to grab it when the alarm goes off in the morning. This way you’re not tempted to text or pass time on social media waiting to get sleepy.
Leave a comment below on your experience of getting adequate sleep. What does rest feel like for you?
Excerpt taken from “The Declutter Code: 10 Simple Steps to Clarity.”