Having decided that I would write about making your bed this month, the first thing I had to do was actually make my bed. So I completed a task that I always do when I am home or away. It’s something that comes naturally to me as I am a tidy person but what are the benefits of making your bed every morning? Does it really matter if you don’t?
A Navy Seal’s point of view
On May 17 2014, Admiral William H. Raven delivered the commencement address to the graduates of The University of Texas at Austin. In this now famous speech, he talks about the importance of making your bed every day and how such a simple action can ‘change the world’. He describes his basic SEAL training experience and that every morning there would be an inspection of their beds carried out by Vietnam veterans. For him ‘It was a simple task — mundane at best. But every morning we were required to make our bed to perfection. It seemed a little ridiculous at the time, particularly in light of the fact that were aspiring to be real warriors, tough battle-hardened SEALs, but the wisdom of this simple act has been proven to me many times over.’
At British Airways, we have hallmarks. One of which is to ‘Set The Tone’. Making your bed at the start of the day does exactly that. It is the first task of the day, simple and quick to do, unless you want an elaborate display of pillows and throws in the design of a stylish magazine photo shoot! It’s a great way to start on that to do list, whether it is a mental or written one. It gives a sense of achievement and pride within the first few minutes of your day. A frequently coined phrase is the state of your bed is the state of your head; is it cluttered or not?
There are several references on the Internet; to a survey by Hunch.com I am unable to find the actual survey results. However, according to their survey of 68,000 people, 59 percent of people don’t make their beds, while 27 percent do. The other 12 percent pay someone to do it for them. Of the Hunch.com survey respondents, 71 percent of bed makers say they are happy, while 62 percent of non-bed makers consider themselves unhappy. So you could say that making your bed leads to positivity and productivity.
What if I don’t do it?
For all the articles and research on the benefits of making your bed, you will find the opposing arguments for doing it. Scientists claim that making your bed will trap all the dust mites and dead skin cells in your bedding, keeping the mites alive who would otherwise die by drying out in the light of day. This is not good for people with breathing conditions such as asthma. It’s a case of mental health versus physiological well-being. I believe you can have the best of both worlds by neatly pulling back the duvet, sheets or blankets back on themselves to allow the bottom sheet to breathe and killing off those pesky dust mites. I would consider that to still be making your bed!
Another consideration is of course that we are all wired differently. There will be many people who don’t make their bed in the morning, but it doesn’t stop them from achievement in their personal and work lives. Some will thrive on the clutter in their world and may even see it as a security blanket, reassurance that all is well. Not everyone feels anxiety through disorder. Besides, who is going to see the unmade bed most of the time?
To make or not to make
Ultimately, there is no right or wrong. It’s a personal choice whether to make your bed or not. I know what works for me and don’t plan to change my daily habit. Whatever your choice may be, I know for sure that we all love our beds and should be happy with them, made or unmad
About the author: Stuart Dickson