In recent years, many people have become more familiar with compulsive hoarding thanks to popular television shows. Typically, viewers receive an inside look at the struggles hoarders face to de-clutter their homes and let go of items they view as valuable. Professional help is provided and we get the opportunity to learn and understand the seriousness of hoarding, as well as what may have triggered it for that individual.
However, a new research is suggesting that sleep quality could be a factor for who is at risk and the severity of their hoarding disorder.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine reports that the results of the research stems from data that was collected from a sample of respondents from Amazon’s Mechanical Turk website. The participants answered several questionnaires including: the Clutter and Hoarding Rating Scale (CHRS), the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), Sleep Habits Survey (SH) and Demographics.
Those who were at risk of hoarding disorder had significantly higher scores on the SH and PSQI questionnaires, specifically on questions regarding how long it took them to fall asleep and the number of sleep disturbances and daytime sleepiness episodes they experience.
While the connection may seem surprising, according to lead study author Pamela Thatcher of St. Lawrence University, the link makes plenty of sense.
“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,” the assistant professor explained an online press release.
While the research team made sure to share their findings at SLEEP 2015, the annual meeting sleep scientists and sleep medicine physicians, their work can also be found in the journal Sleep.