Your mother always told you to make your bed. Every single morning after you’d rise, groggy and miserable, you’d get the inevitable question: “Did you make your bed?” Well, guess what? It turns out mom was wrong — it’s actually better for you, and for your overall health, not to make your bed at all.
Why? Because of these.
The mighty house dust mite. Actually, it’s not mighty at all. These microscopic little buggers are running rampant in your bed (sorry, but it’s true). In fact, the average bed can be home to 1.5 million of them. House dust mites feed on human skin scales (ew), so they love to take up residence with us under the sheets. The allergens they produce (which are actually the mites’ poop) are easily inhaled during sleep and are a major cause of illnesses like asthma. They don’t exactly help dust allergies, either.
It only makes sense, then, that when we sweat and roll around during the night, our skin is flaking off everywhere, the sheets are dampening, and the mites are having a feast. In the morning, if we pull up the sheets and make our beds immediately, all of the skin scales, sweat and mites will be trapped underneath.
But, friends, if we don’t make our bed, the mites, the scales, the sweat, all of it, will be exposed to fresh air and light.
“We know that mites can only survive by taking in water from the atmosphere using small glands on the outside of their body,” Dr. Stephen Pretlove of Kingston University’s School of Architecture said to the BBC. “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.”
Experts recommend leaving your bed unmade for the entire day — yes, the entire day — and making it (if you must) when you get home later on. By that point, many of the mites will have died an unceremonious death. Good riddance, you gross little things.
So print this out or send it to mom for all those years of forced bed-making. Isn’t it nice to know your lazy self was right all along?