I’ve always hated making my bed and even now unless someone is coming over I very rarely do it – I mean what’s the point, you’re just going to get back into it in about 16 hours anyway, why does it matter if it looks nice when you do? – but it turns out that there’s actually a great scientific reason out there that supports this too. Unfortunately it’s kind of freaky though.
According to science, there are something like 1.5 million microscopic insects called dust mites living in your bed at any one time. These guys survive off human skin cells and ideally require hot damp conditions to survive and breed, which are provided by your hot sweaty nights tossing and turning in your bed.
The bugs then proceed to bonk each other and produce a bunch more gross dust mites to hang out in your bed. That is unless you don’t make it.
Dr. Stephen Pretlove from Kingston University School of Architecture (who for some reason seems to be studying making the bed) explains that when you make your bed – especially when you first wake up – that you’re trapping the heat and sweat from your night in there and this creates the perfect environment for the bugs.
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If you don’t make it then this leaves the bed exposed to light and air, which depletes the bugs’ lifelines. Pretlove explains in more detail:
We know that mites can only survive by taking in water from the atmosphere in small glands on the outside of their body.
Something as simple as leaving a bed unmade during the day can remove moisture from the sheets and mattress so the mites will dehydrate and eventually die.
Of course, not making your bed doesn’t mean that you’ll be free of mites due to their high numbers, but it will deplete their number at least. If you suffer from allergies – mite poop is actually a common allergen – then it might be worth testing out not making your bed for a few days to see if it helps.
Other than that it just works as a sick excuse not to make your bed, and that will do me just fine. Just don’t leave water by your bed at night because it’s never as good in the morning, and there’s a solid reason for that too.