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Health

Spring Cleaning Tips for Better Sleep

Tara Youngblood

05.05.22

Spring Cleaning Tips for Better Sleep

Spring, as everyone knows, is all about renewal. As the cold of winter wanes and the sun begins to warm our bones, many people move into spring cleaning mode.

This practice can take on many forms, from a furious session of purging items from your home, committing to a new daily practice like meditation, or making dramatic changes to your diet. However, as Tara Youngblood, CEO of Sleepme Inc. explains, the concept of spring cleaning can easily be applied to sleep.

The philosophy of “out with the old and in with the new” is a powerful one, and following it can definitely make a difference when it comes to improving your sleep. During the winter people tend to live in more of a cocoon, eating larger meals and staying inside as ways to cope with the cold. Whether these shifts are large or small, they have the potential to impact your sleep patterns—and in severe cases, disrupt circadian rhythms.

Positioned after the spring equinox, let Sleep Awareness Week and World Sleep Day serve as reminders for you to take inventory of your sleep habits and environment. That way you can remove what’s not working as the daylight hours grow longer, and add habits or make changes to your bedroom that have the potential to improve your sleep if you’re not resting consistently. Or, you can enhance your sleep recipe and/or the environment if you’re already sleeping soundly.

Tara Youngblood: How a Sleep Recipe Changed My Life


When people begin cleaning their house March through May, the bedroom is often overlooked. Deep-cleaning your sleep space not only removes unnecessary clutter and technology to bring order to a place of calm. It also has the potential to remove allergens like dust mites that can negatively affect sleep, too.

Here are just a few tips you can follow to get started.

Spring Cleaning Tips for the Bedroom

Cleaning up your sleep space can be as simple as pulling out the vacuum and the dust cloth, and should not just happen once a year in the spring! Microscopic house dust mites can cause havoc with your allergies and consequently your sleep [2]! There are a few general cleaning tips for your bedroom in preparation for a good night's sleep.

  • Clean all bedroom windows.
  • Hang room-darkening curtains or shades.
  • Vacuum the carpet and/or area rugs.
  • Wash pillows routinely, and replace them as needed.
  • If possible, clean your mattress.
  • Regularly wash your bed sheets. Replace worn-out sheets.

Create a daily cleaning schedule for your bedroom. This approach will help you stay on top of it and continually have a clean bedroom that can promote good sleep hygiene.

Amarintha Bell, a home textiles expert with over 20 years of experience and a sleepme Inc. consultant, recommends washing your bed sheets at least every 2 weeks. People with allergies, pets, and/or sensitive skin should do so more frequently. Mattress pads/protectors, pillow protector(s) and/or blankets should be washed at least seasonally.

National Sleep Foundation Sleep Study

In the same NSF Bedroom Poll 2011, individuals who regularly washed their sheets and bedding reported a more comfortable night’s sleep. Women were more likely than men to report being more excited to sleep on bed sheets with a fresh scent [3]. 

Declutter Your Sleep Space

A messy and unorganized bedroom can cause havoc on your sleep by contributing to increased anxiety and daily stress. When was the last time you cleaned out and organized under the bed? Having a clean and well-organized sleeping space can encourage relaxation and restfulness when you go to bed.

Taking the time to make your bed can help that space feel more orderly as well. Remove what you don’t need for sleep and/or does not contribute to a peaceful environment. Have sleep-enhancing items, like earplugs and eye-mask readily available at your bedside.

Study: In the National Sleep Foundation’s original “Bedroom Poll” in 2011, individuals who regularly made their beds almost every day were more likely to say they had good sleep compared with those who did so less often [1].

Make the Bedroom a Technology-Free Zone

Youngblood observed that the bedroom is the only room in the house named for a piece of furniture (i.e., the BED). Your bedroom should not double as an office. If you’re serious about better sleep, go a step further to remove TVs, phone chargers, computers, and more to make your bedroom a technology-free zone.

This step helps shift the focus of that space to a place solely about sleep. It also helps reduce the temptation for blue light exposure near bedtime and reduces sleep disturbances from flashing LED lights and notification sounds. While that might seem radical, Youngblood suggests trying it for a month to see if it makes a difference in your sleep.

Enjoy the Outdoors

A lack of sunlight exposure definitely affects your sleep. Getting sunlight is important because it’s your main source of Vitamin D, which is critical for maintaining serotonin levels for a healthy sleep-wake cycle. The suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN) is the central master clock in humans. Light from the environment enters your eyes and helps the SCN to reset for the next sleep-wake cycle.

Morning sunlight can help improve sleep quality [4]. That’s what makes it even more important to get outside. Youngblood recommends people to get outdoors by 9 am even when it’s cold.

Now that spring is here, you don’t have any excuses! Running your toes through the green grass and taking a deep breath can help you ground yourself for your upcoming day, as well as provide essential sleep benefits [5].

Get Some Fresh Air

As the weather continues to get warmer, it's time to open your bedroom windows. Nothing helps you sleep and breathe better than nice cool, fresh air. The improved ventilation and airflow have been related to better sleep in a recent study. [6] Often, bedrooms can have high levels of moisture in the air. This can make the room feel warm and clammy, disrupting your sleep.

By having the windows and doors open, the humid air from the inside has a chance to exit through the windows and allow the dryer air back in the house. Doing so can help create a less humid environment in your bedroom.

Sleep Study Poll

In the NSF Sleep in America® Poll 2022, sleep health was best among those who spent moderate time (3-5 hours) outdoors in the afternoon [7].

Take Steps to Reset Your Sleep Habits

Inventory of your sleep habits should include consideration of your chronotype and lifestyle. Understanding how chronotype affects sleep is an easy first step toward improving sleep.

Youngblood observed, “I’ve talked to so many people who started going to bed when their body was telling them to instead of ‘pushing through’—and their quality of sleep improved dramatically”.

While there are sleep apps and technologies that can help you track your sleep, they can be daunting for the uninitiated. Furthermore, they aren’t necessary for a reset. Simply start by going to bed and waking up at the same time. Creating a stricter sleep schedule is the single most important step you can take. Once you’re on track, you can remove some habits (like using technology before bed) or add new ones (like meditation).

This Spring, Strive for Better Sleep

Hopefully, some of these tips will help you in your quest to improve your sleep. Most of the tips are simple and don’t require a lot of effort. It’s mostly about changing your habits, especially when it comes to getting outside daily, sticking to a sleep schedule based on your chronotype, and refreshing your sleep environment.

Youngblood concluded “I speak from experience when I say it can make a world of difference. When your sleep improves, your physical stamina, your mental capacity, and your overall outlook on life improve right along with it, making ‘spring cleaning’ your sleep definitely worth it”.  

Sources:

[1] National Sleep Foundation. (2011). Bedroom Poll 2011 Summary of Findings. https://www.thensf.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/2011-NSF_Bedroom_Poll_Report.pdf

[2] Leger, D., Bonnefoy, B., Pigearias, B., de La Giclais, B., & Chartier, A. (2017). Poor sleep is highly associated with house dust mite allergic rhinitis in adults and children. Allergy Asthma Clinical Immunology, 13(36). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5558653/

[3] National Sleep Foundation. (2011). Bedroom Poll 2011 Summary of Findings. https://www.thensf.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/2011-NSF_Bedroom_Poll_Report.pdf

[4] Blume, C., Garbazza, C., & Spitschan, M. (2019). Effects of light on human circadian rhythms, sleep and mood. Somnologie, 23, 147-156. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11818-019-00215-x

[5] Chevalier, G.,Sinatra, S, Oschman, J., Sokal, K., & Sokal, P. (2012). Earthing: Health implications of reconnecting the human body to the Earth’s surface electrons. Journal of Environmental and Public Health, 291541. DOI:10.1155/2012/291541

[6] Mishra, A. K., van Ruitenbeek, A. M., Loomans, M. G. L. C., & Kort, H. S. M. (2017). Window/door opening-mediated bedroom ventilation and its impact on sleep quality of healthy, young adults. Indoor Air, 28(2), 339–351. https://doi.org/10.1111/ina.12435

[7] National Sleep Foundation. (2022). Sleep in America® poll report. Americans can do more during the day to help their sleep at night. https://www.thensf.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/NSF-2022-Sleep-in-America-Poll-Report.pdf 

About Tara Youngblood

Tara Youngblood is ChiliSleep’s co-founder and CEO. An accomplished scientist, author, and speaker, Tara’s unique ideas are revolutionizing the future of sleep health by making sleep easy, approachable, and drug-free.
Learn more about Tara.