Sleep Care

Can Cleanliness Affect Sleep Quality?

You’ve probably heard the saying “cleanliness is next to godliness.” But, when it comes to sleep does cleanliness really play a role? According to experts, it very well could. In fact, everything from clutter in the bedroom to dirty bed linens could be impacting your slumber. Moreover, a recent Great American Hygiene Habits Survey indicates that American’s as a whole may not be keeping their homes as clean as they should. As a result, their sleep at night could be impacted by their neglectful housekeeping. For instance, 60 percent of Americans admitted they didn’t wash their sheets once a week – the suggested practice by allergists and other specialists given that our beds are full of dust mites and other debris. In fact, 16 percent indicated they only wash their sheets once per month and 10 percent said they wash them once every 30 days. Also of issue are bathrooms given that many master bedrooms have an attached bath. But 12 percent of survey respondents clean the tub only every couple months and a full 2 percent said they didn’t bother to clean it at all. Lastly, 8 percent admitted that they only clean the toilet bowl once a month. Combine these facts along with vacuuming, dusting and cluttered bedrooms and you will see how general housekeeping could be impacting your sleep at night. In fact, mess and clutter in your bedroom

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alone has an immediate and negative impact on the peace and harmony you will feel as you retire at night. It affects not only the quality of sleep you get, but the quantity as well. Instead of a place to dump things you don’t want others to see, the bedroom should be the most luxurious personal space in your home. Following are some suggestions for cleaning your home in order to aid sleeping. 1.) Focus on improving air quality in your home. Did you know that indoor air is potentially two to five times more polluted than outdoor air? For this reason, it’s important to keep up with furnace and air conditioner maintenance by changing filters and having them inspected yearly. Another way to improve indoor air quality is to allow the rooms in your home, especially the bedroom, to air out each day. Open the windows for at least 15 minutes each day to let in fresh air. You also should consider investing in a dehumidifier in damp areas to decrease mold growth. And finally, use a vacuum that contains a HEPA filter to cut down on floating allergens that are stirred up while you are sweeping. 2.) Make dusting and vacuuming a priority – especially if you have pets. Excess dust makes it harder for you to breathe. It also can cause allergy symptoms and seriously disturb your sleep. To make it easier to keep your bedroom dust-free purchase dusting-wipes and keep them near your bedroom. And if you have a two-story home consider having a vacuum on each floor. You are more likely to vacuum and dust upstairs if you have easy access to a sweeper and dusting supplies. It’s also important to dust more than just the surfaces in in your home. Many people let dust collect under beds, furniture, and on curtains for months and sometimes even years. Do in-depth dusting two to four times a year and you will sleep much better. 3.) Change your sheets. In fact, experts have found that having clean sheets can help cure insomnia more than you realize. Studies have shown that it is easier to fall asleep at night on freshly washed sheets. Not convinced? Think about it this way. You spend about eight hours every night wrapped in your sheets leaving behind perspiration and dead skin cells. So in a way, your sheets need to be washed as often as some clothing. If washing them the same day is the issue, purchase several sets so that you can throw a clean set on the bed without having to be sure everything is washed before you go to bed that night. If you are still having trouble sleeping, the color of your sheets could be a problem. You want to purchase sheets in restful colors like white, soft green and blue. 4.) Keep your bathrooms clean. Bathrooms are a haven for mold and mildew which have been proven not only to impact allergy sufferers but others as well. Therefore, it is important to clean your bathrooms weekly. Start by keeping cleaning supplies within reach. As a result, if you are in the bathroom and realize it is a little dirty, you can take out some wipes and wipe it down while you are

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in there. Other ideas for cutting down on the time it takes to clean the bathroom include wiping down the shower walls after your shower and wiping out the sinks after each use. Keeping up with the bathrooms with regular spot cleaning helps cut down on cleaning in the long run. 5.) Clear away clutter – especially in the bedroom. Clutter often causes your mind to be cluttered too. And if your mind is cluttered, it’s impossible to relax and sleep. If you have a lot of clutter in your home, this can seem like a daunting task, so start with your bedroom. Remove items from the floor and surfaces. For instance, the stacks of magazines to be read, the piles of clothes, boxes of items and kids toys strewn about should be addressed first. If these items don’t a have a home, make one for them or give them away. Throw out or repair anything that is broken and finish things that are undone. After you have addressed the bedroom, move on to other rooms. Sometimes the issue with clutter is that you are keeping things that are no longer needed. Be ruthless with what you keep and what you throw out or give away and you will be surprised at how much more peaceful and inviting your home is when it’s clutter-free. 6.) Take items that don’t support sleep out of your bedroom. The purpose of the bedroom is to serve as a sanctuary where you can de-stress and recharge – a place where you can relax and sleep well. If you aren’t sleeping well, take a look around your room. Does it contain a television? A computer? A cell phone by the bed? Exercise equipment? If it does, then is there any wonder you aren’t sleeping at night? These items in no way support sleep, so find a new place for them in your home. You will be surprised how much more easily you will sleep at night when you limit your bedroom activities to sleep and romance. Your overall goal is to make your bedroom a soothing oasis that is conducive to relaxation.

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