Try to remember the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning. Brush your teeth? Take a bath? Drink coffee? These are just some of the generic responses to people’s waking up habits. How about making your bed?
A surprising number of people neglect to make their bed in the morning, leaving it as rumpled and disheveled as the night before. But it seems there are hidden benefits to this often-overlooked chore for morning birds, least of which are a neat pile of sheets for the rest of the day.
The hesitance to fix up your bed produces a ton of excuses from folks, despite it just taking up a few minutes from their morning routines. It is probably a hard-wired aversion, stemming from early childhood, of parents forcing us to do it while we are stuck in a drowsy stupor.
You can either keep making justifications all day or start making it a habit and enjoy all the secret benefits of straightening out the sheets.
Better Bed, Better Sleep
For one, a made bed certainly stands out in an otherwise messy room. Granted it does not automatically make the entire room clean itself, but just seeing one element of that space looking neat and tidy, in turn, makes cleaning the rest a little easier and inviting.
Washing your sheets is often a no-brainer on the to-do list of bed-making tasks, but apparently, it helps greatly with getting a good night’s sleep. The National Sleep Foundation published a study that, in addition to regular washing of sheets, people who make their bed every morning does miracles for their sleeping habits. The study reported the stark difference between people who made their bed and those who did not, with better sleep habits favoring the tidier ones.
Habits and Discipline
Other experts weigh in with the unexpected benefits of making your bed. Charles Duhigg says in his book, The Power of Habit, that making your bed is a “keystone habit” – one that jumpstarts a chain reaction of healthy and productive behavior. It also matters that it happens at the very start of the day; a made bed is already a task completed, positively affecting the rest of your decision-making for the remainder of the day.
Military men, most of all can attest to the power of making your bed. Not only is it a discipline instilled on cadets on the very first day of their training, but the routine of it also signifies the efficiency of getting something done as soon as you wake up.
Keep It Simple
Most people’s distaste for bed-making stems from their perceptions that it is a chore: something that is unnecessarily fussy and cumbersome that does not need attention first thing in the morning. This way of thinking overcomplicates such a simple activity. Your bed does not need to look pristine and spotless, even though nobody will discourage you of that. Just straighten out the sheets and blankets and arrange the pillows, and you are done. There is no need for any fancy folding techniques like in a hotel room or hospital bed.
Also, there is something about flipping a slovenly habit on its head. That feeling of assurance that you have the ability to change something out of a constant mess; it is an empowering feeling to know that messed up stuff does not stay that way forever. You can get up and make that change – that bed –and revel in your newfound control over your life routine.