Growing up, most of us probably heard our parents tell us time and time again to make our beds each morning, but as it turns out, they could have been wrong.
Research from Kingston University has now discovered that making your bed in the morning traps in dust mites that have accumulated overnight and provides a breeding ground for allergens that can exacerbate asthma and allergies.
These microscopic bugs feed on scales of human skin, and they thrive in moist environments. When we sleep during the night, our bodies become warm and sweaty, making us a prime target for these dust mites to feed on our skin (and leave excretions that can give us asthma-like symptoms).
Making your bed first thing in the morning traps in this moisture, allowing your bed to be a home for up to 1.5 million dust mites. If you leave your bed messy, however, the mites are exposed to air and sunlight, which causes them to become dehydrated and die out.
Because mites can produce allergens that are problematic for people with asthma or allergies, it’s important to minimize the amount of them swimming around in your bed.
To search for a solution to the problem, scientists at the university developed a computer model to track the number of dust mites in the home, and they found that leaving your bed unkempt throughout the day is the best solution to reduce the number of dust mites. Letting your bed air out and remove any moisture prevents survival of these mites, so you no longer have to feel guilty about heading out the door in a rush with your sheets in a tangle.
If you’re someone who can’t stand a messy bed, at least consider leaving your bed unmade in the morning for a few hours, and putting it together later in the afternoon. Keeping your house cool and dry can also help reduce dust mites, as they thrive best in a warm and humid environment.