A messy room affects your sleep, new study warns

Updated: 2015-06-15
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messy room
A messy room negatively impacts sleep, can increase stress and aggravate mental illness, a study found
For some, a clean and tidy bedroom is their haven.
But others clamber through mounds of clutter, boxes of old books and trinkets, and piles of washing on the floor, to reach their bed in time for sleep.
But borderline-hoarders should beware.
A new study warns a messy room disturbs sleep, can increase stress and aggravate mental illness.
People at risk for hoarding disorder report more problems with sleep than their tidier counterparts, researchers found.
Hoarding disorder is a condition where people excessively save items that many would consider worthless, and become anxious parting with possessions.
This leads to untidiness that disrupts their ability to use their living space.
The study found clutter junkies – who were at risk of hoarding disorder - took longer to fall asleep, are more likely to suffer disturbed rest and are more tired in the daytime as a result.
In turn, a lack of sleep can increase stress and depression and slow down thinking, experts warned.
Dr Pamela Thacher, a psychologist at St Lawrence University, New York, said: 'Hoarders typically have problems with decision making and executive function; poor sleep is known to compromise cognition generally.
'So if hoarders have cluttered or unusable bedrooms, and less comfortable, functional beds, any existing risk for cognitive dysfunction, depression and stress may increase as sleep quality worsens.'As part of the study, people were asked about their hoarding habits and their sleep.
Of those involved, 83 people were considered at risk for a hoarding disorder, based on their score on a Clutter and Hoarding Rating Scale.
Another 198 were considered to have a low or no risk for hoarding disorder.
The people in the study were asked questions about their sleep using tests known as the Sleep Habits Survey (SH) and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI).
Researchers found those at risk for hoarding disorder reported more problems with their sleep.
The study was published online in the journal Sleep and presented at the SLEEP 2015 annual meeting in Seattle.
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