Hoarder Sleeping Problems
Have you ever experienced one of those restless nights? Try as you might, you just cannot fall asleep, but you don’t know why. Take a moment and look around your bedroom for the sleep disturbance. Still unsure what could be bothering you? Well, if your room is full of clutter that may be the culprit. Studies show that an abundance of items within the bedroom can actually keep people from sleeping properly.
Hoarders generally experience difficulties with decision-making, functioning, and even having energy throughout the day. Lack of sleep can actually be a component of any cognitive dysfunctions. It may be questioned how possessions can disrupt sleep if they are not physically obstructive; however, research reveals that people with a hoarding disorder are more likely to experience difficulties with sleep, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM). According to one study, these sleep problems include:
- Difficulty falling asleep
- Sleep disturbances – interrupted sleep during the night rather than sleeping straight through
- Issues staying awake and functioning during the day
In extreme cases of hoarding, the bed may not even be the best place to sleep. If the bed is concealed by objects, sleeping there may not be an option – or at least sleeping comfortably. This may lead to a hoarder seeking refuge elsewhere, choosing to sleep in an armchair, a sleeping bag, anywhere that has enough space to rest.
Other factors in a hoarding home that can affect sleep are:
- Lack of airflow due to the excessive mounds of objects
- Infestations of insects, rodents, and/or other unwanted pests
- Unsanitary conditions full of bacteria, waste, etc. that can affect physical health (i.e. upper respiratory issues, allergies, etc.)
An overfilled bedroom can disrupt sleep by filling the mind with anxiety. People need a comfortable environment in which they can unwind and relax in order to sleep. In addition, the situation turns into a cycle, as this anxiety will be exacerbated by the lack of sleep, creating more depression and anxiety which continue to make it more difficult to rest.
In order to reclaim lost sleep, it is necessary to begin by clearing your bed. Easier said than done, but clearing the home is necessary in order to produce a livable, relaxing environment. If the residence is far too overwhelming to handle alone, seek external help, such as family, friends, and/or professional specialty cleaning services. Other factors that can help in the relaxation process are white noise, reduced usage of electronics at least an hour before bed, breathing exercises, and more. Different methods work for different people. In addition to physically clearing the home, it may also be necessary to clear the mind. Seeking a qualified mental health professional can help ease the mind and resolve the hoarding situation. Sleep is not a myth eluding your reality; the excessive conditions of the home are just pushing it away for the moment. A clear home equals a clear mind and a good night’s sleep.