We’ve all been taught it’s a good habit to make your bed first thing in the morning. Sorry, that advice is wrong – and GROSS! In fact, it’s a much better habit to wait to make your bed, and here’s why.
I’m sure you’ve heard the adage that you should make your bed first thing in the morning. Supposedly making your bed first thing every morning is some keystone habit that sets you on the magical path to personal success. I’m not going to argue that keeping a tidy home isn’t a good idea for all sorts of reasons. But let me tell you, making your bed first thing in the morning will put you on a magical path alright – a magical path straight to the Kingdom of the Dust Mites. That’s a tour you don’t want to go on.
What Happens When You Sleep?
There’s a lot going on while we sleep, and some of it is downright messy. Your body does a lot of its restorative processes when you sleep. Safely snuggled in your covers you shed a lot of skin cells, oils, and good ol’ sweat. The average adult loses 10 oz of water a night through perspiration and respiration. That is why you should always, always, always use pillow protectors under your pillowcases and a good, thick mattress pad under your sheets.
That’s also the reason why you need to chug-a-lug a big glass of water upon waking. Every night before I go to bed I put a big glass of water on my nightstand and drink it when I wake. I don’t know about you, but my skin and I wake up thirs-tay! My skin perks up and looks so much better after a big glass of water. Seriously, you want to look 10 years younger? Stay hydrated!
But back to our story…
How We Were Taught to Make Our Beds – And What We Should Do Instead
Okay, so there you are, all snug in bed when the alarm goes off. Nobody likes making the bed so Mama taught us to just get at it and get it over with. After all, that first bit of self-discipline is supposed to set the tone for our whole day. However, the worst thing you can do is jump up, make your bed, fold up your jammies and tuck them in a nice, dark drawer.
A better “order of operations” to start your day is to get up, drink your glass of water, and turn down the covers on your bed. Make sure you are exposing at least the top half of the fitted sheet. If possible, open the windows in your bedroom (if it’s not humid out) or turn on the ceiling fan. Even in winter, opening the windows for just a few minutes will freshen the air. Also, be sure to let your jammies air out – no stuffing them right in a drawer.
Now go get your morning routine on and wait an hour or so before you come back to make your bed. What if you don’t have an hour between waking up and when you have to head out the door? Simple, just make your bed last thing before you leave.
Why You Should Wait to Make Your Bed
Maybe you’re thinking, “If I wait to make my bed, I’ll forget all about it and my whole life will fall apart. No thanks.”
I hear ya. Okay, if you’re a die-hard “make the bed first thing” fan, here are some things for you to consider:
Every night we sweat in bed. Hopefully just a little, because nobody likes the night sweats. However, depending on your health conditions, your hormones and how many covers you like to snuggle in, you might sweat a lot. As I mentioned above, on average we lose 10 oz of water a nite through either breathing or sweating. That’s a lot of vermin-supporting moisture going into your sheets, pillows, and mattress.
This next one’s a little gross. Your skin renews itself approximately every 28 days (that’s not gross, that’s great!). What’s gross is that means a LOT of dead skin cells are shedding off us every month. In fact, we shed up to 500 million skin cells every day. And I hate to tell you this, but much of that happens in bed where we are head-to-toe rubbing up against our sheets. It’s like an 8-hour loofa fest in there, especially if you sleep in the buff.
Okay, let’s recap – our beds are full of moisture and dead skin cells. YUM!
This last one is A LOT gross. No matter how clean you are or how often you wash your sheets, your bed is also full of Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus, AKA Dust Mites. Millions of them. And they’re not in your bed by accident. They thrive in moist darkness, where they happily feed on all those dead skin cells you shed last nite.
You don’t need to be a biology major to know that when an organism eats something, it digests that something and you know what happens next. 💩💩💩 If that’s not icky enough for you, it turns out that all that dust mite poop is highly allergenic and causes breathing issues for many people. Do you often wake up stuffy? Mmm-hmm. Even if you’re not allergic, EEEEWWWWW!
How You Make Your Bed Matters in the Battle Against Dust Mites
When you expose your pillows, sheets, and mattress to air and light, you create an inhospitable environment for these critters and they die. Folding back the sheets and ticking on the ceiling fan for an hour or so declares war on these beasts. They die in droves, and that’s a good thing. Fewer of them to breed, and fewer of them to, well, poop.
On laundry day, it’s a great idea to leave the sheets off the bed as long as possible to give your mattress pad some air and light. Experts also recommend having a go at your mattress (and fabric headboard if you have one) with a vacuum cleaner once a month or so. You want to suck up as many of those dead beasties, live beasties, and their HYPERallergenic poop as possible.
So there you have it – a good excuse to at least have your morning cuppa before making your bed. Hopefully, these tips will have you sleeping – and breathing – better at night.
For further reading:
- Surprising Facts About Your Skin
- What You Need to Know About Dust Mite Allergies
- 8 Ways to Get Rid of Dust Mites
Don’t forget to save this info to your Homekeeping Tips board – and share it with your friends!