Moving house is one of the most stressful things we have to do in life. So it comes as no surprise that this process can have a huge impact on your sleep.
Here at Happy Beds, we’ve conducted a survey of 2,000 people nationwide to discover how buying and selling affected their sleep, what exactly it is keeping them up at night, and if there are any ways you can sleep better during the big move.
Happy Beds Moving House Survey: the results
The average person has moved fewer than 5 times in their life, with 1 in 10 having only moved once. However, no matter how frequently - or infrequently - you move, lack of sleep is a common and recurring issue for most people.
Our survey revealed that 87% of people found moving home stressful, and 71% lost at least one night’s sleep as a result; including 10% who had their sleep severely disrupted for more than a week before the big move.
Alongside this, 92% also revealed they had slept for less than the recommended 8 hours the night before moving home - the average sleep duration being 5 hours and 20 minutes. Some claimed that it took more than 2 weeks before they enjoyed their first restful sleep in their new home, however most said it took 3 to 4 days.
Why is moving house so stressful?
With so many things to do and so little time, it’s understandable that anyone moving home may feel anxious or stressed.
And this anxiety is often only heightened by the little accidents that can happen on moving day itself. Our survey found that 48% of people have experienced a mishap or some form of issue when moving house, with the most common being:
- Damaged furniture - 33%
- Scratched walls - 33%
- Not being able to fit items through the door - 31%
- Not being able to move furniture up/down stairs - 29%
- Not being able to manoeuvre furniture around a corner - 29%
Naturally, moving some items is more awkward than shifting others, and these are just a few that people dread the most:
- Wardrobes - 15%
- Sofas - 14%
- Delicates (e.g. vases, mirrors) - 14%
- Kitchen appliances - 11%
- Beds - 11%
Unfortunately, a staggering 90% of people have had possessions broken in the process of moving, with the average cost of replacing damaged items reaching up to £196.
Despite the stress and risk of mishaps, fewer than 10% of our respondents said that they have had to postpone a move, and 82% said they would help a friend move if asked.
How can I improve my sleep before moving house?
Call us biased, but we think that investing in a good night’s sleep is just as important as investing in the right property, so try to get a decent kip the night before the big move.
Here are our top five tips on how to reduce stress before the move:
1. Get organised
Allow plenty of time to prepare for your move and start the process as early as you can - for example, decluttering or registering with your new local GP beforehand can be a massive help.
2. Give yourself plenty of time
Whilst the move itself might only take a day, give yourself time to prepare before the move and then time to adjust to the change following it.
3. Get as much help as possible
Moving house is a big thing, so don’t try to do it all on your own. Get help wherever you can - whether it be helping move boxes, cooking a meal, or anything in between!
4. Prepare the essentials
Moving house is undoubtedly chaotic. Packing all the essentials into one box is key to reducing stress, as this ensures you can locate them as soon as possible once you are in your new home.
5. Be kind to yourself
Don’t be hard on yourself if you feel tired or anxious before, after, or during the move. This is completely normal, so treat yourself to a break at some stage and allow yourself to recharge.
How can I prepare for moving house?
During our research, we also spoke with several property experts to get their thoughts.
Mick Fallon, Director and Conveyancing Solicitor at Howells Solicitors, commented:
“The secret to minimising stress when moving home is to make the process as straightforward as possible, and this starts with conveyancing. If you can relax in the knowledge that the exchange and completion are in safe hands, that is one less concern off your plate, and you can concentrate on packing and unpacking again.
“Having support from people you can count on - whether a solicitor, moving company, or friends and family - is also key to delegating tasks and making moving less of a worry and more of an exciting experience.”
Ultimately, if you find yourself still struggling to sleep after a few weeks in your new home, it may not be your new environment that is causing sleep disruption, but your sleep space itself.
Investing in a quality mattress and a sturdy bed frame is a must, alongside items such as blackout curtains, ear plugs, sleep masks - whatever is best suited to your needs! You could also try calming activities, such as drinking chamomile tea or meditating before you hit the hay. Trying different evening routines is key to finding the perfect solution for you and achieving the perfect rest.
*Survey conducted by Onepoll.com on behalf of Happy Beds Ltd.