Should You Make Your Bed Every day? Pros & Cons

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Should You Make Your Bed Everyday

To or not to: make your bed every day is the question! Here I try to settle the debate once for all.

In  Naval Admiral William McCraven’s 2014 viral commencement speech at the University of Texas, the Navy Seal argued that making your bed daily will change your life. “If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day,” he announced. “It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another.” 

We’re sure your mother would agree. According to popular culture, a well-made bed signifies order, maturity, and drive. On the other hand, an unmade bed likely belongs to a gaming addict or an unruly teenager. However, science shows that this issue isn’t so black and white. Today, we will go over the pros and cons of making your bed every morning so you can make the best decision for yourself. 

Reasons Not to Make Your Bed

Self-Injury


This one may come as a surprise (or not) but a 2011
Canadian Medical Association Journal article pointed out that most beds are quite low to the ground. It argued that the habit of repeatedly bending over the bed may be strenuous to the lower back and even lead to injury. This is yet another reason why we advise against placing your mattress on the ground. We don’t know your spinal situation, reader, but if this sounds like a risk factor for you, we recommend finding someone to help you out.

Bed Bugs


One would think that a neat bed would be less susceptible to all unpleasantries, but in reality, it may attract some creepy crawlies. According to a 
research study led by the King University in England, dust mites require moisture and heat to thrive and reproduce, and while we sleep, we produce a lot of both. We’re big sweaters; in fact, the average adult loses 10 oz of water nightly through sweating and breathing alone. And it’s not just sweat we produce—as we toss and turn throughout the night, our skin rubs up against the sheets, causing us to shed most of our daily 500 million lost skin cells, A.K.A dust mite food. The resulting feces they produce are not only gross to think about, but also major contributors to congestion issues. Dust mites may worsen conditions like allergies and asthma, and the average bed already houses about 1.5 million. 

The warmth and wet trapped between a made bed’s layers aid the little bugs in multiplying by the millions throughout the day. Lead researcher Stephen Pretlove claims that airing the layers out by leaving the bed unmade will eventually dehydrate the dust mite’s moisture gland, killing them. 

Should You Make Your Bed Meme

Reasons to Make Your Bed

However, are dust mites the best cop-out for an unmade bed? It’s important to note that the aforementioned research is not conclusive. Some scientists believe that the average household is already humid enough to allow dust mites to persist no matter what we do. Perhaps leaving your bedroom window open will help, but we cannot say for certain that an unmade bed will save you from sneezing. Besides, washing your sheets in high heat regularly will kill the little bugs regardless. Dust mites, then, may not be the best excuse for an unmade bed. 

Besides, there are plenty of bedmaking pros to consider.

Confidence and Productivity


People often leave their beds unmade because they’re too busy or tired in the mornings. They just don’t see the point in fixing something that will be naturally messed up later. However, in the same way that working out gives us
more energy, making your bed can fuel the fire of a productive day. 

Admiral McRaven has a point; by tackling a two-minute task with a visible result, we make ourselves feel better about our capabilities. For most people, their bed makes up a solid chunk of their room’s space, so simply adjusting their comforter elevates their space and mood considerably. Many people find that by taking care of themselves and their possessions in small ways, such as keeping themselves clean and dressing well, they find themselves more confident and productive in tackling the day.

 

Admiral McRaven even wrote a book titled “Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World”. The book is a New York Times bestseller. Personally, I loved the book – it’s full of practical bits of advice and easily implementable. 

make your bed by admiral william h mcraven

Mental Health


On a similar note, making your bed may be linked to 
better overall happiness. Studies show that the quarter of adults who make their bed daily are more likely to think of themselves as optimistic people, sleep well, exercise regularly, and enjoy their jobs. It makes sense upon consideration; those with the energy and motivation to make their bed every morning are likely to go on to have a happy day, which only fuels their drive to make it again the next morning.

Sleep Quality

As we mentioned earlier, bedmakers sleep better. Based on our internal survey, people who make their bed in the morning are 28 percent more likely to sleep well nightly.

Ultimately Up to you!

Hey, it’s your decision, and who are we to tell you what to do? Also, who says you have to choose between nixing dust mites or your mental health when you could have the best of both worlds? By taking up some or all of our suggestions, you can reduce their presence to little more than a gross “fun” fact.

You can try throwing back the upper layers of your bedding to dry out the dust mite’s environment and wash your sheets regularly. You may even get a full-coverage mattress protector to ward off the 100,000 to 10 million dust mites that your mattress may hold. We also recommend washing your sheets, blankets, and pillowcases in 130°F water every week. You can even vacuum your mattress to be very thorough. Eventually, it may even be time to replace your mattress and pillows or maybe even invest in a memory foam mattress.

At the end of the day, a healthy morning routine looks different for everybody. We are all about great sleep health and hygiene, and we’re eager to help you make the best choices for yourself!

Michelle Foley

Michelle Foley

Michelle Foley is a Yale student with deep interests in cognitive science, English, and the visual Arts. As an avid psychology enthusiast, she is highly interested in learning about the effects of sleep quality on our behaviors, moods, and health. She is passionate about equitable access to education, much of which includes the provision of quality sleep environments to students and other young people so they have the opportunity to show up in their classes and lives as their best and healthiest selves.

She was raised in the United States by a father who possesses a lifelong and near-militaristic focus on getting his nightly nine-plus hours, and now she strives for the same so she can happily paint and explore nature in her free time. In fact, a lot of her artwork is sleep-themed, featuring reclining figures and dreaming characters. She hopes to further explore rest-related topics in her future art and writing.

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