Why it is important to make your bed every day

Aug 20, 2023
When you make your bed, it helps you be more productive throughout the day and invest your time in other healthier habits. Source: Getty

Every morning I make my bed. Even when I am home all day, no one is visiting and I am not going out, I still make my bed. It’s a feel-good thing. 

Admittedly the odd time I think of an excuse to maybe keep the covers pulled back until I am ready to jump back in that night, but I don’t. Unless I am too sick of course, as I was with Covid-19, I always make my bed every morning. For me a no-brainer but when I speak to friends and family some say, particularly teenagers, that it is a real effort, another chore. They don’t always, if ever, adhere to the daily routine.

Personally, I find it starts me off on a positive note to begin the day. I feel better when my bed is made and the cushions are thrown back on top. Plus, it looks neat and tidy. I wonder, if I didn’t maintain this routine, then mentally I could fall down a lazy rabbit hole and become depressed. 

Let’s face it, it takes no more than two minutes to make up the bed. With today’s bedlinen, it is easy to give the doona a quick shake. I also like sheets and a light cotton blanket underneath. Yet from my many visitors staying over I quickly discovered that not everyone shares the same comfort nor linen requirements. Some prefer only the doona no sheets which means a few seconds shake and the bed is made! 

As kids, we always had to make our bed before school and I am thankful to my mother for training us this way. In those days it was sheets, Onkaparinga blankets, and a bedspread. It took more time and effort to pull the layers smooth and even, with the sheet folded over the blankets before tucking in the sides. I learnt how to tuck the bed ends under the mattress, envelope style, like they do in hospitals which looks so much neater with a firm even tuck. 

So, my normal curiosity kicked in and I needed to find out why I am this way. I found plenty of information online. The mental health benefits of making your bed in the morning, including reducing stress, far outweigh the non-bedmaking. 

The interesting link was people with messy homes and hoarders tend to have more issues with stress and their emotional mental health, than those who have a tidier living space. This includes making their bed each morning. The people who make their bed are more conscientious about how they feel and are goal-driven.

Having said this, we must consider the millions of people who suffer from mental health globally that is not caused by messiness but by other factors. Statistically, 1 in 4 people will be affected by a mental illness at some point in their lives. Yet all therapists seem to agree that a tidy environment can make for a tidy mind and daily bed making is part of it.

Charles Duhigg’s book The Power of Habit makes a comment that making your bed establishes a direct link to better productivity and overall health. When you make your bed, it helps you be more productive throughout the day and invest your time in other healthier habits. And no, making your bed isn’t being OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder), and it won’t make your problems go away. I agree with the research. I find these small things make me feel like I have accomplished something. 

I also read the myth that leaving your bed unmade and pulled back, could kill bed bugs and dust mites. But this was quickly squashed. Fresh sunlight or air for a day is not going to magically kill them all off. I feel relieved as washing your sheets every week or two keeps the bugs in check. 

A little Fun Fact: Inventor, Bertha Beman was granted a patent for the fitted sheet in 1959 because she didn’t like messy sheets falling off the mattress.

Mental health benefits of making your bed each day

  • Starts you off in a more productive state
  • It can be your first achievement on your to-do list
  • Little effort is needed to get your mind in order
  • Takes seconds to make your whole bedroom look better
  • Kickstarts a chain of good decisions for the rest of the day
  • Provides you with a sense of taking charge
  • Encourages you to keep your room tidier
  • Improves your mood, lowers your stress
  • Makes you feel happier
  • It looks better like walking into a hotel room
  • May influence you to sleep better 

So, for those non-bed makers, maybe instead of rolling over in bed, you roll your legs to the side of the bed plant your feet on the floor and start your day on a positive note. 

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