Decluttering a bedroom can improve sleep – experts reveal why

Discover 4 reasons why decluttering is the key to a better night's sleep

Can decluttering your bedroom improve your sleep?
(Image credit: Sanderson / Cortney Bishop / Nicola Harding)

The layout and design of a bedroom can have a significant impact on the quality of our sleep, which in turn affects our overall well-being.

To the question of whether decluttering your bedroom can improve your sleep, the answer is a resounding yes. Decluttering is fundamental for relaxation and stress reduction, and as a result is a key bedroom trick that can make sleep simpler.

Decluttering your space isn’t just about aesthetics; it’s about creating an environment that is conducive to quality sleep. Ultimately, this is an investment in your well-being that pays off every night.

How decluttering a bedroom improves your sleep

A cluttered space can lead to a host of negative consequences, including poorer air quality, stress, and anxiety, all of which can lead to trouble falling asleep and disturbed slumber.

On the other hand, the visual calm of a decluttered space minimizes distractions, allowing the mind to unwind more effectively and transition into sleep mode with greater ease. Moreover, an organized space can positively influence our psychological state, reducing anxiety and promoting a sense of tranquility essential for high-quality sleep.

Below, our experts share four ways in which decluttering a bedroom can improve your sleep:

1. Improves sleep hygiene

Bedroom styling with lighting and made bed

(Image credit: Cortney Bishop)

'Good sleep hygiene involves creating optimal conditions for sleep – cool, breathable, dark, and quiet,' explains Ashish Agarwal, the owner of Home In Depth.  'Decluttering removes items that can affect room temperature and air quality.'

'A decluttered and organized bedroom is easier to keep clean, and fewer items will reduce the amount of dust that accumulates in the space overall,' says Lisa Munkvold, a professional organizer and the owner of Complete Clutter Control. 'A dust-free, clean space will improve the air quality in the bedroom, positively impacting your breathing and, therefore, your sleep.'

So, decluttering your bedroom regularly will allow for improved circulation, better air quality, and the best temperature for sleep.

2. Banish visual clutter: Sensory reduction is essential for sleep

Main bedroom ideas with summer decor and four poster bed

(Image credit: Future / Simon Brown)

Our brains process everything around us, even in relaxation mode. Psychologically, clutter often contributes to heightened anxiety levels, making it challenging to unwind and relax before bedtime.

'Visual clutter can induce stress by overwhelming the visual cortex and overstimulating the brain. When there's too much visual information to process, it can lead to feelings of anxiety and tension,' explains Samia Estrada, clinical psychologist at Dignus Psychological Services

'When this happens, our cortisol level (one of our stress hormones) increases and makes it more difficult for us to fall asleep. Our cortisol level needs to drop for us to fall asleep, not increase.'

Fewer items mean fewer distractions, allowing our senses to take a break.
This sensory reduction can significantly speed up falling asleep, enhancing overall sleep quality.

'So, through decluttering, you create an aesthetically pleasing and visually soothing atmosphere. This has a direct impact on stress reduction, promoting a mental state conducive to restful sleep,' advises Marcus Smith, professional clinical counselor and executive director at Alpas Wellness.

3. Reduce stressful stimuli: A clear space equals a clear mind

En suite wallpaper

(Image credit: Sanderson)

Have you ever tried to work in your bed? This can make you feel more tired since your mind associates your bed with rest. Well, the same goes the other way around. If you are trying to rest and are surrounded by work, this can activate your mind, making it more difficult to sleep. 

In a bedroom, it is essential to separate rest from other household items that represent sources of stress or distractions, so it's important to declutter items that shouldn't be stored in a bedroom.

Imagine entering a bedroom where every item reminds you of tasks – laundry, paperwork, technology. It's mentally noisy.

'If your bedroom is cluttered, your mind will not relax when you walk into it. So, rather than providing you with a relaxing reprieve after a busy day, the clutter in your bedroom adds to your growing to-do list and keeps your mind churning when you try to sleep,' says Lisa Munkvold.

A decluttered space without visual distractions, on the other hand, strengthens the mental association of your bedroom with relaxation and sleep. 

4. The act of decluttering is conducive to sleep

Bedroom color ideas with bold decorative color palette

(Image credit: Nicola Harding)

It might seem like a decluttering myth, but the act of creating order in a room can act as a relaxing transition from the day's activities to a peaceful night's rest. 

'The act of decluttering itself can be therapeutic. It involves decision-making, prioritization, and a tangible sense of accomplishment once completed,' explains Marcus Smith. 'This sense of achievement can positively influence your mindset, further reducing stress and enhancing your overall mental well-being.'

Decluttering, therefore, can become a daily bedroom 'closing shit' to signal to your brain it's wind down for the evening.

Finally, Ashish Agarwal, recommends a few innovative decluttering tips for better sleep to incorporate into your nighttime routine:

  • 'The 5-minute nightly tidy: Spend 5 minutes before bed clearing surfaces. It’s therapeutic and signals your brain that it’s time to wind down.
  • 'The out of sight, out of mind method: Use bed storage for essentials only. If it doesn’t contribute to relaxation or sleep, it doesn’t belong in the bedroom.
  • 'The one-in, one-out rule: For every new item introduced to your bedroom, remove one. It keeps the clutter in check and encourages thoughtful choices about what belongs in your sleep space.'

Ultimately, finding the decluttering method that works for you to keep your bedroom feeling relaxing is the key to improving sleep hygiene.

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.