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The Science of Sleep: How Decluttering Your Bedroom Can Lead to Better Rest

Apr 18, 2024


As a mom, parent, daughter and full-time (often exhausted) professional organizer, I've observed firsthand the transformative power of a well-organized environment on mental and physical health. One of the most impactful places to start is where we begin and end our day: the bedroom. The connection between a clutter-free bedroom and improved sleep quality is not only intuitive but is also supported by scientific research.

The Psychological Impact of Clutter

Clutter, by its very nature, signals to the brain that there's work to be done. Studies have shown that excessive objects in one's line of sight can lead to sensory overload, where the brain’s cognitive functions are impaired due to an excess of stimuli. A cluttered room can elevate stress hormones, such as cortisol, particularly detrimental at night when we are trying to wind down. According to a study published in the "Journal of Neuroscience," visual clutter competes with our brain's ability to pay attention and tires our cognitive resources, reducing our ability to focus and process information effectively.

Sleep and Cortisol

Sleep science has long examined the effects of environmental stressors on sleep quality. Cortisol, the stress hormone that is typically reduced in the evening to aid sleep, can remain high in stressful environments, such as a cluttered bedroom. High cortisol levels can delay the onset of sleep and decrease the quality of sleep, leading to a less restorative sleep experience. A study in the "Journal of Sleep Research" links reduced sleep quality with higher levels of stress, suggesting that decluttering could be a vital step in managing sleep-related issues.

The Physical Realm of Sleep

From a physical perspective, a cluttered bedroom can affect sleep through allergens and dust trapped in piles of clothes or unused items, which can exacerbate allergies and breathing issues. Maintaining a clean, minimal space can help reduce these irritants and contribute to a healthier sleeping environment.

Decluttering for Better Sleep

The act of decluttering itself can be therapeutic. It involves making decisions and exerting control over your environment, which can empower individuals and reduce anxiety. The physical activity involved in organizing and cleaning a space can also be a healthy physical exertion that prepares the body for rest.

Tips for Decluttering Your Bedroom

1. Start Small: Begin with visible areas like nightstands and progress to drawers and under the bed. By tackling one small area at a time, the task becomes less overwhelming and more manageable.

2. Prioritize Sleep Essentials: Keep only essential items that contribute to relaxation and sleep within reach. This might include a book you’re currently reading, a small lamp, and perhaps a soothing scent like lavender.

3. Use Storage Wisely: Utilize under-bed storage for items that are not needed regularly. This keeps them out of sight but organized and accessible when needed.

4. Reduce Electronics: Minimize electronic devices in the bedroom, as they can be a significant source of clutter and are known to disrupt sleep due to blue light emissions which inhibit the production of the sleep hormone melatonin.

5. Create a Relaxing Environment: Consider soft lighting, calm colors, and minimal decorative items to enhance the tranquility of the space. Be certain that your mattress is comfortable. Sleep starts from the ground up.

The Benefits of a Decluttered Bedroom

A decluttered bedroom can transform into a serene sanctuary that promotes relaxation and invites quality sleep. The less clutter you see as you prepare for sleep, the less your brain has to process, allowing you to fall asleep faster and enjoy deeper, more restorative sleep.

Incorporating these practices into your nightly routine can make a significant difference in not only your sleep quality but your overall health and well-being. Remember, your bedroom should be a reflection of rest and relaxation, not a source of stress. By removing the clutter, you clear the path for better sleep and a healthier lifestyle.

xo Meg

Read through all of the steps above. Then start organizing an area of your home. Scroll down for products to help you get the job done!
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