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March 1, 2019

3 Ways Your Home Is Affecting Your Health

Our homes have a huge influence on our overall well-being—even though we tend to believe they’re safe and comfortable, we often overlook certain things that can ultimately impact our health. Here are three unsuspecting ways your home is affecting your health and how you can resolve these issues.

1. Light levels

Inadequate exposure to daylight can affect your circadian rhythm, making it more difficult to fall asleep and get a restful night of sleep. For example, if you have blackout curtains hung up around the house and you don’t get enough natural light during the day, you could experience an effect similar to jet lag. Additionally, being exposed to blue light levels can have a direct impact on our sleep status and concentration. To avoid increased levels of melatonin, try to spend at least an hour outside each day limit your blue light exposure at night. Put down your phone at least two hours before bedtime and switch your lightbulbs to a warmer hue to reduce extreme light exposure.

2. Excessive clutter

As many of us know all too well, having clutter all over the house can cause increased levels of stress, decrease productivity, allow us to harbor resentment and negative emotions about ourselves, and lead to depression and anxiety. To reduce the amount of clutter you have in your house, display carefully chosen personal objects that you love and keep all other items stored away. Prioritize functional items over ones that don’t serve a purpose and make it a goal to clear away built-up trash and junk at least once a week. Here are a few additional ways you can reduce clutter in the home:

  • Recycle all junk mail. Better yet, go online and cancel all junk mailings to reduce paper waste in the home.
  • Go through your clothes and make a pile for donating and a pile for keeping.
  • Don’t buy things you’ll use only once—many items commonly purchased can be rented or borrowed if they’re only needed temporarily.

3. Sound

This one comes as the biggest surprise of them all—whether it’s the constant hum of your refrigerator or the cycling of your washer and dryer, you probably don’t notice how much noise comprises your home environment. While we probably don’t give a second thought about the noise in our homes, the reality is that noise can actually have a negative effect on our overall well-being. Not only can constant noise affect productivity, but it can lead to more stress and anxiety, and in severe cases, lead to high blood pressure and an increased risk of fatal heart attacks.

According to House Method, you can address the sounds in your home by fixing leaky faucets, repairing appliances that constantly make noise (think: your rattling clothes dryer or dishwasher), and soundproofing different rooms. Some other soundproofing techniques you can try out include decorating your walls with soft textiles, using an under-the-door draft blocker to prevent noise pollution in one room, or buying a plush rug to absorb sound. You could also consider buying a white noise machine to drown out noise.

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