In Marie Kondo’s best selling book on tidying up around your house, she posits that by keeping only the things that really matter, getting rid of those that don’t and organizing the rest, people will find happiness. This happiness is based on better health and lower stress—and the two are intricately related. Our mental and physical health is highly influenced by our environment. Physically, a cluttered house is dirtier, which can lead to allergies and illness. Mentally, a cluttered a house can be a symptom of, or lead to a cluttered mind, which makes it more difficult to sleep.
Here are five reasons to clean up your bedroom for a better sleep:
Minimalism: Your bedroom is primarily for sleeping. Only things needed for sleep should be there. Get rid of TV and electronics, including alarm clocks. The light they emit delay the release of melatonin, the hormone that influences circadian rhythm and signals the body to get ready for sleep.
Darkness and clutter don’t mix: Sleep experts suggest sleeping in a dark room, yet most of us wake up once or twice during the night and get a drink of water or go to the bathroom. Navigating a cluttered space could lead to a trip or fall, further impeding sleep.
A clean house leads to a clean mind: Our mental health is greatly impacted by our environment. A cluttered house could be symptomatic of a cluttered mind has been linked to a lower sense of well being along with poorer mental health. The Chinese word Qi describes a combination of forces, both natural and manmade, that influence how a place feels and whether a person exists harmoniously with it. Qi is a facet of Feng Shui, the idea that living harmoniously with our natural and manmade environments can be beneficial to our health and wellbeing.
Clutter can get expensive: Having a few piles or boxes in your bedroom closet and around your house is not the end of the world, but it could be the start of a very expensive habit. Marie Kondo may take sorting and getting rid of excess belongings to the extreme, but you’d rather not see the other extreme. Some people who collect more stuff than they can safely live with, rent storage units they never visit. The self-storage business in the United States is a $38 billion business, with average rental costs running $90 a month or, $1,080 a year. Almost one in 10 households has a self-storage unit. This may be why the financial guru Suze Orman says, “Like your home's closets, your financial clutter needs an overhaul every now and again, and the payoff will go far beyond the psychic satisfaction of neatening up.”
Cleanliness is soothing: The National Sleep Foundation survey found that people who made their bed daily were 19 percent more likely to get a good night’s sleep. This could be because of a lack of gathering dust on the sheets, or it could just be the sense of calm of entering a room that was in order.
Cleaning is a lot of work and takes time, but there are ways to make your house stay cleaner longer. First, whether you change your sheets every week or every other week, you can get the clean sheet smell daily by applying fabric spray to your sheets before you make the bed. Second, invest in a robotic vacuum so it cleans while you do something else. The base models cost under $200. As an added benefit, you need to clean clutter so the vacuum can do its job. Third, cleaning does not have to be expensive. Attaching a reusable microfiber cloth to the end of a duster pole or broom works as well as an expensive one-time use insert. Read here for more cheap hacks. Cleaning may not be fun, but the result—better physical and mental wellbeing— leading to better sleep, is worth the effort.