Are these 6 cleaning steps the key to a better night's sleep?

Experts reveal how the simple act of cleaning can help improve the quality of your sleep

Three images of beds with luxurious linens
(Image credit: Birdie Fortescue / The Secret Linen Store / Graham & Brown)

A clean bedroom isn't just about aesthetics; it's about creating a sanctuary that promotes relaxation. Cleaning your bedroom can be a great way to improve sleep by not only enhancing sleep conditions but also helping your mind associate your space with relaxation. 

Sleep hygiene is all about creating the right environment for sleep, and while it is not literally about hygiene, adopting some cleaning tips into your bedroom 'closing shift' can be the key to a better night's sleep. 

So, following these six expert-approved cleaning rituals can make all the difference to your nightly routine.

Follow these 6 cleaning steps for a quality night's sleep

We know that decluttering your bedroom improves your sleep, so we asked the experts how cleaning can do the same. These are the steps to clean your bedroom for a more tranquil and healthy environment:

Why cleaning a bedroom is key to a better nights sleep

Green bedroom with rattan bed decor and quilted throw

(Image credit: Birdie Fortescue)

Cleaning a bedroom is key to a better night's sleep for several reasons:

Improving air quality: A clean bedroom helps to eliminate allergens and irritants that can interfere with sleep quality. Dust, pet dander, and other particles can trigger allergies or respiratory issues, leading to discomfort and disrupted sleep. By tackling the dirtiest places in a bedroom, you can improve the air quality and create a healthier sleep environment.

Reduction of visual clutter: A clean and tidy bedroom promotes an atmosphere conducive to relaxation by reducing visual clutter and stressful stimuli.

'Clutter can be distracting and make it more difficult to relax and fall asleep, whereas a clean space fosters a calm atmosphere that promotes rest,' explains Carlie Gasia, a certified sleep science coach at Sleepopolis. 

Removal of stressful stimuli: Your bedroom should not have any items that create stress, like reminders of tasks or work, since this releases stress hormones, increasing alertness and arousal, making it essential to declutter items to never store in a bedroom.

Establishing a night-time routine: A cleaning routine before bedtime can signal to the brain it's time to wind down and prepare for sleep. This ritual can encourage your brain to associate this activity with preparing for rest.

Finally, a clean bedroom can promote physical comfort, mental relaxation, and healthy sleeping habits, essential for achieving a better night's sleep.

1. Dusting and vacuuming

Colorful bedroom with fabric headboard

(Image credit: Future)

'Dust mites and allergens can accumulate in carpets, bedding, and curtains, potentially disrupting sleep for those with allergies or respiratory issues,' says Angela Rubin from Hellamaid. 'Make sure to dust and vacuum your bedroom regularly for better sleep to remove these irritants and create a cleaner breathing environment.'

'Keeping your bedroom clean will also make the room smell better,' says Carlie Gasia. 'Bad odors can distract from sleep, so maintaining a fresh scent can help you get a good night’s rest.' 

You can even add some of the best scents for sleep to stimulate relaxation.

Angela Rubin
Angela Rubin

Hellamaid is an award-winning cleaning company in Canada that's been featured on multiple global media brands.

2. Clean bedding for cleanliness and comfort

Pink bedsheets

(Image credit: The Secret Linen Store)

It is important to keep your bedding and the bed itself clean. This keeps your room fresh and will make it easier to relax and fall asleep.

'Your bedding can harbor sweat, oils, and dead skin cells, creating an ideal environment for dust mites and bacteria to thrive,' says Angela Rubin. 'Wash your sheets, pillowcases, and duvet covers weekly in hot water and hypoallergenic detergents and dryer sheets to keep them clean and fresh.' We like this ECOS hypoallergenic detergent from Walmart.

As well as regularly cleaning bedding, it's important to clean a mattress periodically. 

'Every few months, take advantage of a sunny day to air out your mattress,' recommends Julia Siemen, a certified sleep science coach at Sleep Advisor. 'Remove bedding and open the windows to allow fresh air to circulate the mattress, helping to eliminate odors and moisture buildup.'

Consider using a mattress protector and pillow covers for added cleanliness. 'A mattress protector acts as a barrier against spills, stains, and allergens, prolonging the life of your mattress and creating a healthier sleep environment,' says Angela Rubin. 

'Look for a waterproof and hypoallergenic option for maximum protection.' We recommend this Rest Haven mattress protector, from Walmart.

Pro tip: 'To prevent uneven wear and prolong the lifespan of your mattress, rotate it 180 degrees every six months and flip it over once a year,' advises Angela Rubin. 'This will ensure even weight distribution and support for a more comfortable sleep surface.'

3. Declutter

japandi style bedroom with rattan detail and a large plant

(Image credit: Naturalmat)

Clutter can be distracting and make it more difficult to relax and fall asleep. 

'From a psychological perspective, adopting a minimalist approach helps reduce sensory input, which is beneficial for those who are easily overstimulated by their environment,' explains a certified psychology consultant and Founder of Life Architekture, Bayu Prihandito.

'A room with fewer distractions means a quieter mind, something that is key for falling asleep quickly. It's this cozy environment that the mind needs to let go of the day's worries and turn its focus inward to prepare for deep and restorative sleep.'

Additionally, fewer items cluttering your bedroom will reduce the amount of dust accumulated in the space overall, improving the air quality. So, for a zen bedroom, take some time to declutter the space, including surfaces, closets, and under the bed. Donate or responsibly dispose of items you no longer need or use to create a more serene environment.

4. Clean flooring

A neutral bedroom with an extended wooden headboard and white bed

(Image credit: Husband Wife)

Allergens can also get trapped in flooring. So, whether you have carpets, hardwood, or laminate flooring, keeping them clean is essential for a healthy sleep environment. 

If you have rugs or carpets, regularly vacuum them to remove dust, dirt, and other allergens that can accumulate over time. Periodically shampoo and deep clean your carpet or rug.

For hardwood or laminate floors, vacuuming and mopping with DIY wood floor cleaner can keep them looking and feeling fresh. 

Clean floors not only contribute to a cleaner atmosphere but also make the entire room feel more inviting and comfortable.

5. Put everything in its place

retro brown wallpaper in the bedroom on the ceiling, Graham & Brown

(Image credit: Graham & Brown)

'It is important to ensure that everything in your room has a proper place,' advises Carlie Gasia.

This will make cleaning before bed simpler and ensure items aren't randomly stuffed in drawers or strewn across the floor. Having a disorganized bedroom can create stress and guilt, making sleeping more difficult. 

Make it a rule to put items back where they belong after using them, or make it part of your nightly routine to put items back in their designated spot.

6. Organize for clear air

neutral bedroom with blanket and pillows

(Image credit: 22 Interiors)

While dusting, vacuuming, and removing clutter are great ways to improve air quality, organizing your space with a few air-purifying additions can also help to improve sleep.

Firstly, it's important to ventilate the room. Open doors and windows regularly. This will also make your bedroom smell fresher.

'Consider using an air purifier with a HEPA filter to remove airborne pollutants and allergens from the bedroom,' advises Karina Toner, operations manager at Spekless Cleaning

You can also use air-cleaning indoor plants to help keep minor pollutants at bay, such as spider plants, English ivy, snake plants, and peace lilies, which absorb toxins.

Finally, choose hypoallergenic bedding and furnishings.

Remember, when cleaning your bedroom, avoid using heavy fragrant detergents to clean your bed sheets and surfaces. Their strong odor can impact your sleep.

Lola Houlton
News writer

Lola Houlton is a news writer for Homes & Gardens. She has been writing content for Future PLC for the past six years, in particular Homes & Gardens, Real Homes and GardeningEtc. She writes on a broad range of subjects, including practical household advice, recipe articles, and product reviews, working closely with experts in their fields to cover everything from heating to home organization through to house plants. Lola is a graduate, who completed her degree in Psychology at the University of Sussex. She has also spent some time working at the BBC.