With the coronavirus pandemic confining many of us to our homes for extended periods of time and leaving many without work or on furlough. In these times, routine may feel hard to come by. But, now more than ever, routine and structure are essential in our days.
One simple thing we can do in our daily lives to add structure is to make the bed every morning. For some, this may seem like a no-brainer, but it actually may not be as common a practice as we expect!
A recent poll found that just 55% of respondents made their bed every morning during lockdown, suggesting almost half of us aren’t bothered about straightening our sheets out after we’ve slept on them.
But whether you make your bed or not, what does it matter? We’ve done some research and found 5 reasons why a tidy bed can help bring a tidy mind.
Making your bed every morning ensures you have an achievable task that you can complete almost as soon as you wake up, making it easier to develop a reliable morning routine by breaking it down into simpler steps.
For most of us, the bed takes up a lot of the room. Leaving your bed unmade throughout the day, especially when you’re at home much more often, can be distracting and affect your mood when you enter your room.
Organisational behaviour expert Libby Sander has observed that our physical environments significantly influence our cognition, emotions and subsequent behaviours, including our relationships with others. Mess and clutter might not seem like a big problem but they can have a dramatic effect on our brains.
Making your bed every morning is your decision, and when there is so much happening that is out of our control, having some semblance of a grip on what we experience every day can be invaluable.
In addition to reducing the surface area available for dust to settle on, making your bed helps keep it clean for longer. A 2005 BBC article claimed an unmade bed killed off dust mites by allowing the area to dehumidify. However, your bed and the sheets you sleep in will dry off just as easily if you make your bed and, actually, your sheets will dry off faster when spread out evenly as opposed to a crumpled pile.
Our speciality is in laundry, so while we hope these tips of keeping a routine benefit you, we thought we’d add some expert advice on keeping the cleanest bed possible that you can add into your wider housekeeping routine.
It’s estimated that you produce almost 2 litres of sweat a week while you sleep. Washing your sheets freshens them up, removes all the sweat, oils, dust and allergens so you can rest easier at night.
Higher temperatures will kill microbes more effectively. Choose 60 degrees for a truly germ-killing clean. Cotton sheets can generally withstand higher temperatures than polyester.
Excessive fabric softener leaves a film of residue on the surface of the fabric that can mean your sheets get dirty quicker. This film makes sheets less absorbent and allows grime to build up, so avoid using it when cleaning items like towels and sheets.
Either by taking your duvet to a dry cleaners near you or by machine washing if your machine can handle it, you should be washing your duvet roughly every six months. This will ensure a deeper clean that will remove dust mites, bacteria and mould spores that build up over time.
We asked the mattress specialists at Inside Bedroom to give us their thoughts on the importance of a well-made bed to our comfort and wellbeing. Senior researcher Wayne Ross had this to say:
“According to a poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation, persons who make their bed in the morning are 19% more likely to get a good night’s sleep, every night. In addition, studies have also indicated that people who made their beds every morning were more productive. Furthermore, it will give you a feeling of accomplishment to complete the first task of the day.”
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