Too Much Clutter Could Take a Toll on Sleep

Amanda Chan
·Deputy Editor

Borderline hoarder? Here’s a good reason to let some things go. (Photo: Flickr/lisaclarke)

If you’re hanging on to way too much stuff for your own good, it could actually have a negative impact on your sleep, a new study suggests.

Researchers from St. Lawrence University in New York found that people at risk for hoarding disorder sleep worse than people who don’t have problems with clutter.

A possible reason for why? “Hoarders typically have problems with decision making and executive function,” study researcher Pamela Thacher, assistant professor of psychology at St. Lawrence University, says in a statement. “Poor sleep is known to compromise cognition generally, so if hoarders have cluttered/unusable bedrooms (and less comfortable, functional beds), any existing risk for cognitive dysfunction, depression and stress may increase as sleep quality worsens.”

The study, published in an online supplement of the journal Sleep and presented at the SLEEP 2015 annual meeting, involved asking study participants about their hoarding, sleep, and clutter. Eighty-three people were considered at risk for hoarding disorder based on their score on the Clutter and Hoarding Rating Scale, while 198 were considered minimally or not at risk for hoarding disorder. 

Researchers found that those who were at risk for hoarding disorder also reported more sleep disturbances and daytime disturbances. 

Of course, it’s no secret that a serene bedroom environment is necessary for good sleep. The National Sleep Foundation recommends buying a comfortable and supportive mattress, keeping the temperature in the room around 65 degrees, and regularly making the bed to keep things clean and neat. 

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