This may come as a shock — but did you know that we spend a third of our lives in bed? So, treat your bed with the respect it deserves on September 11, National Make Your Bed Day. While you’re turning off your blaring, chirping or beeping alarm, consider that having an actual bed to sleep on is still relatively new, given the entirety of civilization.
It wasn’t all that long ago that our ancestors slept on mounds of leaves and mulch (or if they were very well-off, big bags of feathers scrounged from the barnyard fowl.) That should give you new appreciation for your 500-thread-count sheets and microfleece plush, duvet cover. So, do the right thing. Make up your bed every morning and be grateful you’re not sleeping on the hard, cold ground.
National Make Your Bed Day timeline
- 18th-19th century
The fabric of our lives
Mattresses begin to be stuffed with cotton and later mattresses are covered with cotton pads.
- 15th-17th centuries
During the Renaissance, mattresses are made out of pea shucks, straw, or feathers, stuffed into coarse coverlets in exotic materials like velvets, brocades or silks.
- 3400 B.C.
Sleep like an Egyptian
Egyptian pharaohs are the first known royalty to raise their sleeping surfaces off the ground.
National Make Your Bed Day Activities
Show off that beautiful bed!
Still using some ratty old afghan that your college roommate left behind, or the thin poly-blend comforter from one of those cheap-looking bed-in-a-bag kits? Splurge on something luxurious, like a feather comforter tucked into a crisp, white, cotton duvet. You won’t want to leave something so indulgent on the floor. If your tastes tend toward the whimsical, try a squishy, kawaii pillow shaped like either a corgi or a piece of buttered toast (yep, these do exist!)
Air out your bed
Did you know mites thrive in warm, moist environments — like recently-vacated beds? In addition to changing your sheets regularly (and even vacuuming your mattress once in a while,) refrain from making your bed as soon as you get up. Instead, throw the covers all the way down and brew some coffee or take a shower. You'll be feeling (and smelling) better and your bed will be properly aired out.
Teach yourself some bedding tricks
Some folks love letting their feet stick out from under the covers while sleeping. Other folks like everything tucked in, nice and snug. If you belong to the latter camp, learn how to make "hospital corners." A technique first developed by nurses to make patient care easier, hospital corners can help keep your sheets nice and secure. Or watch a video on how to correctly fold a fitted sheet, which many people consider sheer sorcery!
Why We Love National Make Your Bed Day
Making the bed makes the bed more inviting
When it comes time to hit the hay, who wants to straighten out tangled sheets and plump up flat pillows? If you take a few moments earlier in the day to tidy the bed, there's no hassle at night. All you need to do is slip between those sheets, pull up the blankies, and drift off to dreamland.
Feel more accomplished, be more productive
Straightening the bedclothes actually gives you a lot of bang for your buck. It may seem like a small accomplishment, but it sets you up for the whole day. One good habit leads to other good habits.
It’s good for your health
A neatly-made bed not only improves your state of mind — it benefits your body, too. The dust those "bunnies" shed and the allergens produced by animal dander, will stay off your sheets when you make your bed in the morning and there'll be less sneezing at night, Moreover, the National Sleep Foundation reports that people who make their beds regularly actually sleep better!