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This Might Sound Stupid, But… What’s the Point of Making the Bed?

Few things are as satisfying as sliding into a bed on which the sheets have been made to look like a display model at Ikea. Despite this feeling, however, 59 percent of people don’t make their beds, according to a 2012 survey. In fact, if the study is to be believed, only about one in four people do so. (Another 12 percent pay someone else to make their bed for them.)

So, are most of us missing out?

According to Naval Admiral William McRaven (an unlikely source, we know): Yes! As McRaven noted in his commencement speech at the University of Texas, if you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. This will give you a small sense of pride and will encourage you to complete another task, followed by another. By the end of the day, he says, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed, reinforcing your ability to get shit done.

Even better, Psychology Today claims, “Bed makers are also more likely to enjoy their jobs, work out regularly and get more sleep, compared to non-bed makers, who hate their jobs, avoid the gym and are generally tired.”

This is all great stuff, obviously, but are there any more tangible benefits to making your bed in the morning? Is a made bed cleaner? Are made beds better for catching elusive REM sleep?

Christine Hansen, a holistic sleep strategist and coach, thinks so. “There can definitely be psychological and even clinical advantages to a made bed versus a disheveled one,” she says. “Sleep is a transition, and that transition is enhanced by a peaceful, clean and welcoming environment. That’s why I always recommend to have a decluttered bedroom — it’s de-stressing, which helps to keep cortisol, our stress hormone, nicely balanced and low in the evening.” As to whether it’s actually cleaner, Hansen adds that making your bed “helps to air the bed in the morning in order to prevent dust mites.”

So there you have it: Take an extra minute in the morning to make the bed — even if you’re just going to get right back into it.