Does being messy affect our sleep?

Sometimes we have those nights where we just don’t feel like putting our laundry away, vacuuming our floor, or putting our books away. The next day we wake up feeling lie we got no sleep at all. Why is this? Researchers have found that messy rooms lead to lack of sleep, increase in stress, and better chance of a mental illness.

Psychologist Sherrie Carter explains in her article “Why Mess Causes Stress” why clutter in our life affects our mood. She talks about how messes makes the human brain distracted, which prevents it from doing its important tasks. She talks about how the brain gets cluttered with excessive stimuli that it does not need, which prevents it from focusing on the important things. A study was done where people were asked about their sleep patterns and their messiness. About 30% of the group were considered at risk for developing a hoarding disorder. This 30% also had more trouble sleeping at night, which led the researchers to the finding that the messiness of a room leads to affected sleeping patterns. Carter also argues that clutter affects stress. The lack of sleep that the mess leads to can cause it, but other things can cause stress too. Worrying about when there will be time to clean the mess, how long it will take, and just the fact that the mess has to be cleaned up can cause stress. Also not being able to find something that you need in the mess causes us to get frustrated and panic. The lack of sleep from clutter can lead to stress, or the stress from clutter can lead to lack of sleep. This buildup of stress can lead to mental illness as well, because the brain is not functioning properly and the human is constantly stressed and worried and tired. The Neuroscience Institute at Princeton University studied how clutter restricts the brains ability to perform tasks. Researchers presented participants with cluttered and uncluttered stimuli and studied the brain’s ability to perform tasks using an fMRI. They found that neatness allows the brain to focus more and be able to proficiently perform the tasks it needs to do.

Unfortunately, being messy affects human’s lives in many ways. Sleeping, being able to be relaxed, and our brains function is all important to human’s, so in order to be well, we need to clean.

7 thoughts on “Does being messy affect our sleep?

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  3. Kelsey Donehower Post author

    I feel as though being clean just makes you feel better about yourself and allows you to have a better day. When my room (or my roommates side of the room) is messy, it just distracts me and worries me, preventing me from focusing. I know with all the stuff we have to do with college, it is hard to do our laundry and clean our room frequently, but I strongly believe that once we get a schedule down, we will be able to take control of our cleaning and overall be healthier and happier.

  4. Jiamin Shan

    It is such an alert for me to see this article as I have never thought my messiness can be such a big problem. I do experience the stress when I can not find a thing that I really nee. My ID often disappears on my desk because there are so many stuffs on my desk. I did not really pay attention to the stress because I though they are not important. However, now I am really thinking about cleaning my room because I do not want my sleep to be affected by anything.

  5. Stephen B Caruso

    Interesting to know how being messy affects my sleep. Coming from a spacious room to myself to sharing a crammed dorm room with my roommate is a huge adjustment that has affected my cleanliness. It is very hard for me to stay organized and I am still trying to find a system that works and a place for all of my belongings. To know that having a messy room causes stress to myself and affects my sleep motivates me to organize my stuff in the very near future. College is a challenging adaption and to be organized and sleep better is a beneficial plan I am willing to test out for myself.

  6. jvn5243

    I am definitely one of those people who appreciate a clean dorm room. It stresses me out a lot when my room is messy and all my friends come to my room to watch movies, and it is still a mess, especially in college. I didn’t mind a messy room when I’m at home, but now that I have a roommate I feel the need to be extra clean. All those TLC shows about people real life stories about their homes and their hoarding addiction is extremely scary and I wouldn’t be able to live there, I would be very stressed constantly.

  7. sjl5595

    Hello, I really appreciate this piece of blog. I think it mentioned a part that people can actually affected by sleeping under an messy environment. I have seen that article “Why Mess Causes Stress” that mainly focuses on the relationship between stress and chaos that is often ignored by most of people. I really agree the concept that chaos influence people’s mind system by distracting certain parts of the brain functions which means we cannot concentrate into things we are doing now. It really matters.

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