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.