Promoting Wakefulness in Your Surroundings

Promoting wakefulness in your surroundings is important. How should we go about promoting wakefulness?

I had asked this too when I was learning about my diagnosis of Narcolepsy. I had no idea that controlling your environment could improve wakefulness.

Little did I know that everything I had learned from my doctors about sleep, attending a Narcolepsy Conference in Vegas and watching Dr. Oz were so effective at helping me maintain wakefulness better at home.

I had not given much thought of how the colors of the rooms in my home could affect my attention and help maintain wakefulness until I moved into our new home in July of 2011. It is a Georgian with a Victorian feel about the home.

I love these type of southern homes.

I had noticed that the walls were a chocolate brown when viewing the home but other than that had not given much thought to the color because that can easily be changed. After moving into the home I discovered very quickly that brown walls are not good for someone trying to maintain wakefulness.

In fact, I learned that brown is a great color for a bedroom to promote sleep.

I still haven’t gotten the whole house painted but some of the rooms have been changed and I am so thankful and I can testify that the feel, color and mood of your environment can either promote wakefulness or sleepiness.

Below are just a few of the suggestions I have found to be helpful in promoting wakefulness for myself:

  1. Dark rooms are not a good option for maintaining wakefulness and focused attention. Rooms that are dark in color will cause you to become unfocused and sleepy. Dark rooms are great for sleep though, so keep the bedrooms for the dark colors you enjoy decorating with in your environment.
  2. Bright, colorful rooms or rooms with natural sunlight are best for maintaining focus and wakefulness. Changing light bulbs to those that are brighter or induce a natural sunlight brightness are best in maintaining wakefulness. They are a bit more costly, but very affective at helping establish an environment that promotes wakefulness.
  3. Calendars! Calendars! Calendars~ Very Important~We already have a hard time with remembering things, so a calendar on your phone, computer, ipod, ipad, ereader, purse or on the wall or all of the above is essential to keeping your days balanced and efficient. Just knowing what the next day holds on your calendar will boost energy because you will not have to use your energy the next day to decide what needs to be done.
  4. Menus – Same as having a calendar. Post on the refrigerator so that you are not having to decide the next day when you may be more tired. Try to schedule your menu each week at the beginning of the week and follow through with the meals. This will also promote wakefulness because you will have dinner already planned so you will be less likely to give into foods that will zap your energy.
  5. Grocery Lists – Same as the schedules above these will provide a guide to help maintain your focus while in the grocery store. I don’t know how many times I have wondered around the store trying to remember what I was supposed to get only to waste time and energy. Also, plan your grocery list around your menu to help save another few minutes on another day trying to remember what you were going to cook.
  6. Naps – We all need them to maintain wakefulness. We seem to drain ourselves of our energy supply, which is limited anyway, by forcing ourselves to keep going when really we should just stop for 10 to 15 minutes, shut our eyes and recharge.

Hopefully these suggestions will be of benefit to you in promoting wakefulness in your environment. If you are anything like me, and I am sure you are, you will do anything to get a little more energy each day.