We’ve all had sleepless nights where we’ve tossed and turned on our beds, and yet, sleep doesn’t come. You’ve tried meditating, melatonin, whale sounds, the whole shebang, and here you are, lying flat on your back, staring at the ceiling. Being unable to sleep is a big issue because it can interfere with multiple parts of your life.
How is that?
The Problem with Not Getting Enough Sleep
Sleep deprivation, especially if it is chronic, can really affect your life. Even if you miss an hour or two of sleep every night, it can have a negative effect on your functioning. On average, around 35% of adults get less than the ideal amount of sleep during the day regularly (the ideal minimum amount being 7 hours for healthy functioning).
So what exactly happens to your body and mind when you skip out on your precious few hours?
- You become a lot less alert. You’re always groggy and sleeping is the only thing you want to do, which means you’re less focused on the tasks you have to do in your day, making you less productive and alert. If you’re extremely tired and can’t seem to keep your eyes open, make sure that you aren’t doing anything that requires a lot of attention or fine motor skills such as driving.
- You feel tired all day. Lack of energy is a common side effect of not getting enough sleep. It’s because your body hasn’t had the chance to recuperate to operate at full functionality.
- You will feel more cranky and on edge. Sleep deprivation can cause mood swings and stress as well. Your mind and body both need enough time to relax, which can only be achieved when they are fully rested, i.e., when you’ve got a good night’s sleep. Lack of sleep makes you more sensitive to your surroundings and can trigger you into feeling more irritable.
- You might also feel a lack of enthusiasm in general. It’s because you’re so tired. If you don’t rest enough, how will you feel excited about what you have planned for the day? Those who are chronically sleep-deprived often find themselves opting out of participating in events and activities that would otherwise have interested them.
- It’s a lot more unsafe for you. As mentioned earlier, you become a lot less alert of your surroundings. If you’re driving or doing something that requires you to pay attention to your environment when you are sleep-deprived, you are more likely to mess it up. Worst case scenario, it might even result in an accident.
- There is a vanity aspect to this too. If you don’t sleep enough, you’re more prone to breakouts and wrinkles, and you will definitely get those under-eye dark circles that nobody wants.
Clearly, sleep is not for the weak. It is mandatory for everyone. You need to take enough time out of your busy schedule to get at least 7 hours of rest every day.
What happens to those who are more than willing to rest, but find that they just simply cannot? What do you do when you just can’t sleep? What could be the reason behind it?
Well, first, there are many reasons why people find themselves wide awake at night. If you’re one of them, please get it checked by a medical professional to rule out any sleep disorders as a cause. If it is a disorder, then the right treatment and medication should help you get some sweet dreams every night.
If it isn’t and you have no other stressors preventing you from sleeping well, enough, or at all, then the answer might be right in front of you. Have you noticed if your room has gotten a bit messier than usual? Have you not had the time or the drive to tidy up for a while? When was the last time you dusted around your house?
Have you maybe considered that you might not be the problem? Have you thought about your bedroom is the reason why you can’t sleep well at night?
Yes, it’s true.
The way you maintain your bedroom can affect your sleep cycle and schedule. What is it about your messy bedroom that pushes blissful sleep away?
Your Bed is What Could be Stopping You from Sleeping Well
Interrupted sleep starts from an early age itself. 25% of young children in this report mentioned that they were having problems sleeping and that they experienced excessive drowsiness and lethargy during the day. That’s one in every four children who do not get enough rest. Their metabolism drops and they are more likely to fall sick or experience chronic health issues while growing up. Getting a good night’s sleep isn’t just something that you should aspire to do, it is necessary for your body to function, especially at an early age when you are still growing.
So if we all agree that chronic interrupted sleep or irregular sleeping patterns are a major issue in our lives, how is it that our bedrooms could be one of the reasons why it is happening?
It’s all the clutter
Having a cluttered bedroom is not only an unpleasant sight to look at, but could also be messing up your sleep cycle. Why is that? It’s a clear and visual reminder of all the things you have pending. The more stuff you leave lying around your house (especially your bedroom, where you’re supposed to rest), the bigger your mind perceives your task list to be. It’s like having a nagging voice constantly at the back of your head reminding you that you still have the stuff to do right before you are about to sleep. How can you, or anyone, possibly fall asleep peacefully when that’s the last thing you are thinking about?
Did you forget about the dust?
If you don’t clean up your bedroom often enough (making your bed and dumping all your clothes does not count as cleaning up here, we were all thinking it), dust can collect over all our things. This adds to the mess even if you can’t see it. Our bodies are already sensitive to allergens outside, but having them inside the house can create an abundance of germs that can affect your sleep.
Have you been changing your sheets often enough?
The dust and allergens can collect over your bed sheets and blankets as well, and can lead to unnecessary discomfort when you are trying to sleep. There are also broken strands of hair, leftover oils from your body, sweat build-up, and dead skin cells just lying around on your bed, collecting layer after layer if you don’t clean up. Sounds pretty gross, right? How are you supposed to sleep well on that?
Now that you know what the problem areas are, the solution is pretty straightforward. Clean up your room! And do so regularly!
Clean Your Bedroom Regularly with These Easy Steps
Be consistent with your cleaning
The first step is to be regular. If you keep putting off cleaning your bedroom until tomorrow (it’s always tomorrow), the mess is bound to grow, and before you know it, you’re back to square one, which is a messy room and a terrible sleep schedule. So if you’re making a schedule around cleaning your bedroom, make sure you stick to it. It will help you feel more in control of your surroundings and you’ll get a good night’s sleep.
Change your sheets every week
The more often you change your sheets, the less likely you are to find collected dust and residue on them. The ideal amount of time you should wait between changing your sheets is about one week, but the most you should postpone it to is two. Any more than that and you’re just asking for trouble. Clean sheets smell nice, feel softer, and are a lot more comfortable than those you’ve been sleeping on for over two months, so take out the time and make yourself a comfortable bed to sleep in.
Start from the top
If you’re cleaning your entire room at once, always remember to start from the top. Cleaning floors first doesn’t make any sense if you’re going to do your dusting right after and have all the dirt settle back in. So the ideal steps for this would be to:
- Dust your room thoroughly
- Wipe all the surfaces clean
- Change your sheets
- Sweep and mop the floor
Allocate areas in your room to keep it more organized
Another tip to make sure your room is clean (or at least looks a lot less messy) is to allocate certain areas by category. For example, keep a section that is just for your skincare, so everything that comes under that umbrella can go in there. Keep a shelving unit for your books so your books don’t lay about all over the place. Keep a separate section for all your beddings and linen so they don’t get mixed in with your clothes. Small changes like that can make all the difference.
Make cleaning a part of your nightly routine
Yes, it is a tedious step, but once you get used to it, it will become second nature to you. Make cleaning a part of your wind-down or bedtime routine before you go to sleep. Knowing that your sleeping area is organized and clean will help you feel more accomplished and reduce the chances of any subconscious stressors that could bother you in your sleep. It could be something as simple as moving the pile of clothes from the chair to the laundry basket or organizing your desk. Again, small steps lead to big victories.
And, of course, as our mothers always said, don’t forget to make your bed every morning.