Our homes are our castles, our nests, our places of refuge against the outside world. They can also come to reflect the people living in them, especially when it comes to cleanliness and health. Scientists have been investigating the relationship between people’s health and their homes for decades and have made some pretty incredible discoveries. Here are just five studies that show a link between a clean home and your mental and physical health.
- Better Attention Span
A cluttered home, it seems, can actually lead to a cluttered mind. A recent study actually connected cluttered homes to shorter attention spans. A study at Princeton in 2011 concluded that “the visual cortex can be overwhelmed by task-irrelevant objects, making it harder to allocate attention and complete tasks efficiently.”
- Better Health Overall
While the study is a little older now, researchers in Indiana discovered that people who keep their homes clean tend to be more active and enjoy better overall health. It turned out that house cleanliness was found to be a better predictor of someone’s health than the walkability of their neighborhood.
- A Good Night’s Sleep
A survey performed by the National Sleep Institute in America recently discovered that people who make their bed every day may actually sleep better as well. Those surveyed were “19 percent more likely to report regularly getting a good night’s sleep” than those who didn’t make their bed. Clean sheets were also a factor. Most people surveyed said they slept better in beds with clean sheets because they felt more comfortable. Considering how important sleep is to our mental health, it seems making your bed might help you get a better night’s rest.
- Get Happy
A recent study investigated the link between a cluttered home and people’s own perceptions of their mental state. In interviewing roughly 60 women, the study found that those who described their homes as “cluttered” were more likely to be depressed and tired than women who described their homes as “restful” and “restorative.” The study also found that women who said their homes were “cluttered” were also more likely to have elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol in their systems. While the study was small and limited, it does suggest that a cluttered home can make us feel down, fatigued, and can increase our stress levels all at once.
- Improve Your Relationship
While money may be the number one worry between spouses, clutter doesn’t help relationships, either. According to some doctors, a messy home can increase tension in a relationship, which can lead to marital issues. Clean homes mean you can spend less time looking for things and more time enjoying each other’s company. Keeping a clean home is actually better for you than you may have thought. Besides keeping your home more sanitary and free of allergens and bacteria, the very existence of a clean home can actually lead to an improved mental and physical state, so the next time you are cleaning your home, whether you are steam-cleaning your carpets or organizing a linen closet, remember: it may be doing you more good than you ever imagined.