If you’re anything like me, making your bed is the first step in your morning routine (OK, after that triple shot flat white in bed). I simply cannot continue with my morning until my bed is perfectly made as soon as I’ve rolled out of it – but it seems I’m making a major mistake.
If science is to be believed (which it probably should be), you absolutely shouldn’t make your bed first thing in the morning – and for a pretty icky reason.
Why exactly? It’s all because of these pesky little creatures called dust mites. According to the American Lung Association, dust mites are very small, insect-like pests that feed on dead human skin cells and thrive in warm, humid settings. Ew. Whilst dust mites are too small for us to see, it’s worth noting that they’re not parasites that bite, sting or burrow into our bodies. “Instead, people who are allergic to dust or dust mites are reacting to inhaling proteins in dust that comes from dust mite feces, urine or decaying bodies. Any swelling (also called inflammation) of the nasal passages caused by dust mites is considered a dust allergy,” they explain.
And because dust mites thrive in humid conditions, experts say it’s essential to let your bed sheets air out before making your bed in the morning.
Martin Seeley, the CEO of MattressNextDay, explains: “Contrary to popular belief, an unmade bed is less susceptible to dust mites, those tiny creatures that can trigger a range of health issues, including asthma and allergies.
“Many studies show that unventilated bedding, caused by making your bed immediately, can create an environment that leads to higher concentrations of dust mites and their allergic proteins as reported in many studies. This is because dust mites tend to thrive in warm environments that have a lot of moisture.
“So, given that the average person sweats 500ml per night, naturally, your bed environment is the perfect breeding ground for dust mites in the morning. That’s why it’s important to leave your bed for at least 30 minutes allowing for better ventilation which helps disperse moisture and reduces the overall humidity in your bed.”
The sleep and bedding expert also notes that sunlight can hugely help stop the accumulation of dust mites, adding: “Allowing your bedding to remain unmade for a while gives it exposure to natural sunlight, which has disinfectant properties capable of killing bacteria and mites, thereby reducing potential health risks.”
This is great news for anyone who truly CBA to make their bed first thing in the morning.