The 7 Mental Health Benefits Of Making Your Bed In The Morning
For years, my mother (and my sister) pestered me about making the bed in the morning. I never understood why I should make the extra effort every morning (before my morning coffee too!) to make the bed. Years later, my morning routine now includes making the bed, first thing in the morning.
We already know the benefits of keeping our living spaces decluttered but did you know that our day-to-day actions, even the smallest ones such as making your bed, can improve our mental well-being?
A Fun Fact for you! September 11 is celebrated as ‘Make Your Bed Day’ every year. This day aims to motivate you to make your bed in the morning so that you can enjoy a soothing and comfortable night.
A messy environment can negatively affect our mental, emotional, and cognitive health whereas, on the other hand, a tidy and decluttered space can help increase our cognitive health and positively impact other aspects of our well-being.
Why Should You Make The Bed?
Many people wouldn’t prefer to leave their house without making their bed. For some, making a bed can be a compulsion while for others an unmade bed can be a sign of honor. Well, to each their own, right?
However, there are people like me, who believe that smoothing out the sheets and arranging the pillows doesn’t make much difference apart from tidying up the bedroom. In recent years, making the bed has become a habit of mine and this small habit has made a huge difference in my overall well-being.
William H. McRaven, retired Navy four-star admiral, in his book, “Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life… And Maybe the World.” mentioned that making your bed in the morning helps you achieve your goals and become successful. He believes that just by making your bed, you’ve accomplished one task of the day. So making your bed in the morning can account for completing one task out of many throughout the day.
Below, let’s explore some more benefits of making your bed in the morning!
7 Mental Health Benefits Of Making Your Bed
By making your bed in the morning, you:
1. Gain A Sense Of Accomplishment
While it may not look like a big task, making your bed in the morning can give a sense of accomplishment and can help you start your day with a completed task. The positive vibe you’ll get from this accomplishment will stay with you throughout the day.
2. Boost Feelings Of Calmness
After a tough day, what do you need more than a cup of tea and a warm bed? Now imagine coming home to a bed without any mess or clutter on it. When you know you’ll be going home to a cozy and clean bed, it’ll boost your mood and bring forth feelings of calmness.
3. Improve Sleep Quality
When your sheets are clean and properly folded, why won’t your sleep quality improve? Think about the warm sheets and fluffy pillows in a hotel room. The sight of such a neat room makes you want to nap, doesn’t it? Now imagine the same sight in your bedroom. When you see a neat and made bed, your brain would automatically want to rest and recharge. Remember, visuals matter!
4. Gain Better Organizational Skills
In a bedroom, the bed is the center that takes up almost all of the space in the room. Having a made bed can not only be aesthetically pleasing to the eyes but can also make you want to keep the bedroom as clean and decluttered as possible. So when you’re making the bed, why not pick up the discarded clothes along the way?
5. Improve Focus
Disorganized space equals a cluttered mind. So when your bed (and bedroom) is free of clutter, your mind will have fewer distractions to focus on. With a clear head, your focus on important things will increase. Making your bed can also count as a mindful exercise that can help improve your concentration and focus?
6. Promote Relaxation
As a mindfulness practice, making your bed can also contribute to relaxation. When you keep your mind in the present moment, you stop wondering about the past and the future. Incorporating mindfulness into your routine through making your bed can promote relaxation, feelings of peace, and contentment.
7. Reduce Stress Levels
A messy room can make you feel stressed out while living in a decluttered space can help lower the stress levels and calm your frayed nerves. Now that your bed is made and tidy, you may feel less stressed and burdened with your daily tasks.
What Studies Say About Making Your Bed
There hasn’t been much research on how making your bed in the morning affects your overall health but there are some pieces of evidence that show a link between disorganized space and mental clarity.
People with messy homes (including hoarders) have a poor executive function, poor emotional regulation, increased stress hormones, and poor mental health. On the other hand, in some studies, it was found that people (especially older adults) living in a decluttered environment have better brain functions and enhanced quality of life.
In some research studies, it was reported that age and lifestyle factors may also play a role in making your bed and mental health. For example, people over 40 years of age and people in a romantic relationship living together were more likely to make their bed first thing in the morning.
Are There Any Drawbacks?
Yes, while there are many benefits of making your bed, there seem to be some drawbacks to this morning routine too. Some of them can be:
A. Low Creativity: In many studies over the years, it has been found that a messy environment is a sign of genius and increased creativity. So one drawback of making your bed in the morning can mean less flow of the creative juices. Believe it or not, not many creative people may benefit from making their bed in the morning.
B. Poor Hygiene: In a study conducted in 2001, states that a made bed is likely to breed germs whereas an unmade bed didn’t. An unmade bed means letting air and sunlight on the sheets that can keep the germs away. Of course, on these drawbacks, more research is needed.
Making your bed or not is up to you. While making your bed in the morning is a good habit for not only your mental well-being but for your cognitive health, there are some drawbacks to it as well. If you believe that making your bed is encouraging for your creativity then you may find skipping this morning ritual helpful.
Whether you choose to make your bed or not, it’s your decision. Remember, there is no right or wrong way here. It’s all about what makes you happy and what helps your mental health.
I hope the benefits of making your bed mentioned above may help you make a decision. I mean, making the bed has been a part of my morning routine for some time now and I don’t regret it one bit. Making your bed can give you a sense of accomplishment first thing in the morning and give an awesome kick-start to your day.
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Take Care! Stay Safe!