Love it or leave it? The daily (some say stupid) task that divides a nation
Making your bed on a daily basis, the real issue that splits the nation squarely into two camps – those who do it or those who don’t. Instinctively, we know we should do it, but there’s a bit of righteous joy in not doing it as adults because it’s something we didn’t like doing as kids.
According to one survey of 68,000 people by Hunch.com, 59% of respondents said they don’t make their beds and a scant 27% do. Another 12% have the luxury of paying a housekeeper to do the deed.
While we totally understand the reluctance of making your bed in the morning, there are some very good, and often surprising, reasons why tidying up your bed is a really good idea. But first, let’s put to rest a myth that some people have used to justify skipping the chore.
The truth about (bed) bugs and a made bed
We’re sorry to burst a bubble here, but a 2005 article published by the BBC entitled, “Untidy beds may keep us healthy” was supported with flimsy science and widely misinterpreted. It cited a Kingston University study that said bugs can’t survive in the dry, warm environment of an unmade bed. The thinking is that making your bed doesn’t allow any moisture in the sheets to dry completely, which creates conditions where bugs, specifically dust mites, not bed bugs as some people think, thrive. They bask in your body heat, sweat and minute flakes of skin shed during sleep.
Dust mites sound gross, but they’re a normal part of life. More than 1.5 of these wee insects keep you company at night without you even knowing it. And, newsflash, they’re not a health issue for most of us. Just a small percentage of folks have a dust-mite allergy or respiratory concerns like asthma, which makes bugs more of an issue.
60 seconds each morning that could change your life
If truth be told, it doesn’t take that long to make a bed – perhaps a minute or two. It’s worthwhile because of the potential impact on your life, according to the data. The Hunch.com survey mentioned above also revealed that 71% of bed makers describe themselves as generally happy people while 62% of non-bed-makers said they were unhappy. That’s not all. The tidy types were more likely to enjoy their jobs, own a home, exercise and feel well rested. The other camp disliked their jobs more, tended to be apartment renters and woke up feeling tired.
It would be silly to draw any cause-and-effect conclusions, but the results may be telling a bigger story. Psychologists think that making your bed is a symbolic act. It represents order and a small sense of accomplishment that starts your day off on a positive, confident note.
5 key reasons to embrace the habit of making your bed
1. Appearance matters – For the best sleep, a neat, pulled-together bedroom is more conducive to sleep than a space that looks like a troop of monkeys went to town on your bed.
2. Keep it clean – If you have pets that like to sleep on your bed during the day, making your bed keeps the smell of their hair and dander off your sheets.
3. Practice makes perfect – The more you make your bed, the easier it will become if done on a daily basis. In 30 seconds flat, your bed will look mom-approved.
4. Sleep better – Experts are big on bedtime rituals to ensure better rest. Turning down your bed can be part of that. It’s a nice touch that some hotels offer, so why not do it for yourself at home? Put a mint on your pillow for that staycation vibe!
5. Tame the chaos – If you start with a clean slate, i.e. a made bed, your sheets, blankets and duvet will be neater even with the tossing and turning of you and your beloved. A mid-night battle for the blankets is bad enough. Start with an even playing field with an organized, neat bed.
Which camp are you in – bed maker or non-believer?