It might not feel like it when the alarm goes off at 6 o’clock every morning, but we spend a third of our lives asleep. However, all the fluffy, frou-frou stuff we pile atop our sleeping surfaces is a relatively new invention in human history. 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 treat your bed with the respect it deserves on September 12, which is National Make Your Bed Day.
National Make Your Bed Day - History
The Fabric of Our Lives
Mattresses begin to be stuffed with cotton; later they are covered with cotton pads
During the Renaissance, mattresses are made of pea shucks, straw, or feathers, stuffed into coarse coverlets and covered with velvets, brocades, or silks
Sleep Like an Egyptian
Egyptian pharaohs are the first known folks to raise their sleeping surfaces off the ground
National Make Your Bed Day Activities
1. Give yourself a reason to 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 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 a corgi, a cthulhu, or a piece of buttered toast (yep, they all exist).
2. Do it properly — by procrastinating
Did you know mites thrive in warm, moist environments—like recently-vacated beds. So in addition to changing your sheets regularly (and even vacuuming your mattress once in a while), refrain from making your bed the moment you spring out of it. Instead, throw the covers all the way down and go brew some coffee or take a shower. Once your bed’s had time to air out a bit, then, and only then, pull those covers up.
3. Teach yourself some bedding tricks
Some folks love having their feet free while they slumber; others like everything tucked in all snug. If you belong in 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 try your hand at correctly folding a fitted sheet, which many people consider sheer sorcery.
Why We Love National Make Your Bed Day
A. 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, all you need to do is slip between those sheets, pull up the blankies, and drift off to dreamland. And if you have unexpected guests at bedtime (or even before), a neatly made bed offers aesthetic appeal. There might be a whole warren of dustbunnies underneath it, but no one will notice them if the quilt is spread and the pillows arranged just so.
B. 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 a whole damn day of gettin’ stuff done. One good habit leads to other good habits.
C. 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 other animals’ dander, stay off your sheets when you pull up the covers during the daytime. That can lead to less sneezing after sunset. Moreover, the National Sleep Foundation has reported that people who make their beds regularly actually sleep better. You’d have to be crazy to turn down that benefit.