I've been asking my children to make their beds before they go to school for as long as I can remember.
They'd be up to the task for a week or two, and then go back to their old ways of just throwing their covers to one side of the bed.
It drove me nuts! Their excuses were that no one would see their bed anyway, they don't have time, or that it's going to be unmade later in the day.
That's all true, but making your bed in the morning is a good start to the day. It makes your room look tidy, and makes you more productive throughout the day. I think of it as my first espresso shot.
What if making your bed in the morning has something to do with your health? I thought that would be a good way to encourage my kids to tidy up.
It turns out that making your bed can actually make you sick.
You can imagine my discomfort while I read these studies. All those years of telling my children to stop tidying their beds was wasted breath, and now I leave my covers hanging over the side just like they do.
Here's why you need to stop making your bed, no matter how good it looks...
Why It's Bad
Researchers argue that making your bed creates an environment for dust mites to thrive in.
Most people sweat when they sleep, creating a warm and moist space for microscopic critters to make their home.
When you get up in the morning, your sheets are still warm as you cover them. So even if you're not sweating, these bugs are finding a warm place that will feed on invisible dead skin cells.
Dust mites are terrible for people who are allergic to dust or have asthma. If you're wheezing or scratching your skin more often than before, talk to your doctor to see if dust mites might be contributing to your health problems.
What You Should Do
When you throw those sheets to the side to get out of bed, just keep them there.
Fresh air and light will kill the colony of creatures finding their comfort zone in your comfy space. That doesn't mean you shouldn't be washing your bed sheets frequently though.
There's a silver lining to all this:
Your bed doesn't have to be made right when you wake up! You can tidy up your sheets later in the day, when your sheets are cooled off and light has had a chance to destroy any bacteria on them.
If you're concerned about dust mites on your mattress, try out this DIY mattress cleaner that works wonders!