Here’s How Your Messy Home Might Be Affecting Your Sleep

Yet another reason to keep your space clean.

By Jessica Bennett for | originally published on  January 10, 2020

Between messy countertops, cluttered closets, dirty dishes in the sink, and floors that need vacuuming, your cleaning to-do list can sometimes feel never-ending. So what’s the harm in putting off a few duties until tomorrow?

As it turns out, procrastinating on those cleaning tasks may have more serious consequences than simply creating more work for your future self. A messy home could actually be a cause of sleeping troubles, according to a survey conducted by CPAP, a sleep therapy product company.

As for what cleanliness has to do with sleep, mess-induced stress may be to blame for some bedtime troubles. The majority of survey respondents (including about 80% of clean people and over half of messy individuals) said they feel anxious when their homes are untidy.

“A clean space tells our minds that we have nothing to worry about and can therefore drift peacefully into good restorative sleep,” says Christine Lawler, the sleep expert behind The Peaceful Sleeper. “When we’re surrounded by messes, then everything feels chaotic and it’s harder for our brains to shut off. We’re biologically wired to produce chemicals to keep us awake if we’re surrounded by chaos.”

To turn your bedroom into the ideal sleeping environment, Lawler suggests focusing on the areas directly around the bed. “The best things you can do are to tidy up your nightstand, the floor by your bed, and whatever furniture you have that is across from your bed,” she says.

Apart from clearing clutter, other housekeeping tasks, like washing your sheets regularly and making your bed each day, may also help you rest easier. Though it’s not necessarily a cure-all for every sleep issue, a clean, neatly made bed can make you feel calmer and more in control, Lawler says, which helps the brain associate your bed with restfulness.

So the next time you’re having trouble sleeping, make like Marie Kondo and try a little tidying up.

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