If you're anything like me, you typically have an "order" when it comes to keeping the rooms in your house clean. For me, the kitchen always comes first, usually followed by the front room, and then the hall bathroom - these are all places that a visitor sees first.
My office typically hides my 'to-do' piles behind closed doors. And my bedroom hides anything I don't have the time to deal with before guests arrive. My husband and I are pretty much the only ones in my bedroom and I admit, it gets the least care. Sheets are often changed because of my allergies, but usually, laundry sits waiting to be put up, suitcases are half packed/unpacked and book after book adorns my nightstand.
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In a study conducted for the National Sleep Foundation, nearly 3/4 of the respondents said that a clean room helped them get a good night's sleep, and three out of four people said that weekly sheet changes and fresh air helped with more comfortable sleep. Additionally, seven of ten people said they made their bed regularly, and those bed-makers were 19% more likely to claim better sleep.
And as experts claim that clutter can cause stress, the last place you want to feel stressed is the place that you're looking to find peace and restoration. Dr. Sherrie Bourg says that when our bedroom is cluttered, we bombard our minds with stimulation overload, and signal to our brains that the work is just not done. Who of us can sleep when we feel like something isn't done?
Of course, we feel anxious if we don't feel like we'll ever see the top of our dressers again. And because our bedroom is where we end each day, removing the clutter and closing our eyes to clean will mean sweeter dreams and less nighttime anxiety.
Cortisol is known as the 'stress hormone,' and when our bodies have elevated levels of it running through, we face anxiety. A UCLA study found that mothers who shared they felt they had clutter in their homes and lives had elevated stress levels and cortisol. Another study found that wives who self-reported more clutter in their homes had increased depressed moods, as well as flatter diurnal slopes of cortisol, which has been associated with health conditions like ulcers, depression, and anxiety.
So while we think our bedroom may be the least essential room to focus on when it comes to making sure it's clean, making it the number one focus may actually go a long way to helping us reduce anxiety and providing more restful and restorative sleep.
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Experts suggest little things each day to tackle keeping your room tidy, and they are as simple as making your bed daily (even if it is just throwing the sheets and blankets back up at the top and plopping the pillows back in place) and ensuring clothes are in their appropriate places in hampers or closets.
Most importantly, though, change the way you think about your bedroom. Instead of thinking of it as the 'hiding' place for all the things behind closed doors, think of it as an oasis of restoration for you. Keep it a comfortable temperature, don't use your bedroom for storage (or at least utilize storage containers that can be kept out of sight until needed) and get into the habit of putting things where they belong every time - even if you're tired.
You'll thank yourself!