How Hoarding Affects Sleep0

Walking up to your front door should be a relief after a long day at the office or school. Traveling for the holidays should be a time filled with family memories versus hard conversations.

An area of debate can start because of the severity of hoarding at a loved one’s home. Adding insult to injury, emotions run high due to a hoarders inability to relax in their own environment.

It was not until 2013 that hoarding was separated as only a symptom from obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (OCPD). Hoarding is completely different characterized by “the urge to acquire and save objects, while being unable to discard objects that have no apparent value.”

One study in 2015 from the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health found insomnia as a significant predictor of increased hoarding severity. Another study found several factors present in the link between hoarding and insomnia.

“Hoarders typically have problems with decision making and executive function; poor sleep is known to compromise cognition generally, so if hoarders have cluttered/unusable bedrooms (and less comfortable, functional beds), any existing risk for cognitive dysfunction, depression and stress may increase as sleep quality worsens,” said lead author Pamela Thacher, assistant professor of psychology at St. Lawrence University in Canton, N.Y.

For many, hoarding is an unclear line between laziness and clutter. Noticing the signs and understanding why hoarding starts can help.

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