Tucked up: The surprising health benefits of making your bed every day
Making the bed may have been one of those chores parents used to insist on, but for many it was the first to be ditched the minute we moved into our own pad.
After all, what's the point of making your bed if you're just going to get back in it later that day?
But turns out as well as making your bedroom appear instantly tidy, there are a whole wealth of health benefits to giving your duvet a smooth each day and your pillows a good fluff.
So in order to mark National Make Your Bed Day (September 11), we've outlined some of the surprising reasons you really should go back to making your bed every day.
Dermatophagoides Pteronyssinus, more commonly known as dust mites, are microscopic, insect-like pests that live in warm and moist places.
While dust mites in the bed are somewhat inevitable - the average bed has over a million living on the surfaces - there are certain ways to stop them getting out of control and making your bed every day is one of them.
"By making your bed each morning, it allows your bedding to be stretched out, therefore dust mites are exposed to daylight and clean air, causing them to dry out and depreciate," explains Alison Jones, sleep expert at Sealy UK.
"Also, when bedding is left unmade, it traps warmth and moisture, providing an environment in which dust mites will thrive."
It boosts productivity
Productivity taken a nose dive during the pandemic? Making your bed every day could help. That's because it sets the tone for your day and leaves you with a feeling of accomplishment before you've even grabbed your first coffee.
Experts say this is one of the simplest daily success wins to develop and kicks off a chain reaction of other productive habits.
"Making your bed every day is a quick and easy way to boost the feeling of productivity," explains Jones. "This is because the process subconsciously makes you feel a sense of organisation and accomplishment, allowing you to start your day in a positive frame of mind."
A tidy bed = a tidy mind
As well as helping you to feel productive, making your bed in the morning can also have benefits on other parts of your life.
"It is known that a cluttered living space can lead to a cluttered mind, with studies showing that untidy spaces can impair information processing," explains Jones.
"It is therefore best to keep your bedroom space clean and tidy, especially if this is somewhere you relax."
It makes you happier
While it's easy to scoff at a task so simple, making your bed can actually impact your whole mood.
A recent survey from OnePoll and Sleepopolis found that people who make their beds regularly tend to be morning people who wake up without an alarm.
A further survey of 68,000 people by Hunch.com, revealed that 71% of bed makers consider themselves happy; while 62% of non-bed-makers admit to being unhappy.
Bed makers are also more likely to like their jobs, own a home, exercise regularly, and feel well rested, whereas non-bed-makers hate their jobs, rent their home, avoid the gym, and wake up tired.
All in all, the research seems to suggest that ritual bed makers are happier and more successful than their crumpled sheet peers.
Improves sleep quality
Perhaps the most important reason for plumping your pillows is the lure of a good night sleep. According to science, people who make their bed in the morning are more likely to sleep better than those who don’t. In fact, a poll conducted by The National Sleep Foundation found that people who make their bed in the morning are 19% more likely to have a consistently good night's sleep.
So, if you struggle to nod off at night it might be a good idea to try making your bed in the morning.
The best way to make your bed
Now we know why we should be making our bed, here's how we should be doing it.
Let it air
Allow your bed to air for at least an hour before making it, as this clears it from any moisture or germs that have built up through the night.
"When aerating your bed, pull the sheets as far back as possible exposing both the mattress and duvet, and open the bedroom windows," suggests Jones.
"The optimum time is around 1-2 hours but anything from 20 minutes will be beneficial, so try leaving your bed to air while you get ready in the morning."
Change your sheets regularly
Every one to three weeks to be precise. "Having clean and fresh bedding helps to improve overall health and sleep quality," explains Jones. "When cleaning bed sheets, you should opt for a high temperature wash – at least 40° – to eradicate germs."
Don’t neglect the mattress
To keep your mattress in good condition, you should flip or rotate it regularly. "Many people aren’t aware that rotating or flipping a mattress can significantly increase its lifespan – however make sure to check your mattress manufacturer’s instructions as some mattresses are designed not to be flipped," Jones explains.
Apply some finishing touches
Odour sprays are a quick and effective way to give your bedding a luxury touch each morning. "Scents can range from linen fresh to other essential oils like lavender, rosemary and jasmine," Jones adds.
Claire Marie Dorking, Yahoo! life