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Make Your Bed Every Day, For Crying Out Loud

Making your bed is good; all of the reasons against bed-making are bad.

So long as you are alive, there is no getting around sleep. It will happen to you eventually, no matter what, and a day or so later, it will happen to you again. You might as well make the most of it, and sanctify your sleep. And the number one way to do that is to make your goddamn bed.

Pretty much the last thing people want to do when they wake up is get out of bed, and the second-to-last thing most people want to do when they wake up is make that bed. But you really should. Every day. Even — nay, especially — when you are tired and cranky and running late.

Getting into bed is probably the most reliably rewarding experience humans have. Whether you are going there to watch TV or have sex or cry or eat a piece of pizza or go to sleep right away, your bed is where you go to be comfortable and comforted. What relief can a crumpled comforter tossed atop a twisted sheet trap provide? Better to feel cocooned and contained by a you-sized envelope made of crisp, clean linens.

All of the reasons against bed-making are bad. Don’t even get me started on the false spectre of dust mites or the need to “air it out”; that’s a bullshit excuse and you know it. Here’s another favorite argument: Making the bed is “useless.” It’s a task that undoes itself once everyday. If you are destined to twist and tangle while you sleep every night, why not accept the unmade bed as default? Well, probably for the same general reason we try to shit in a toilet instead of wherever we’re standing when we happen to realize we have to go: sometimes it’s nice to pretend that we as humans are a little better than other animals.

Think of yourself as the surprise guest your bed deserves.

Single people who don’t want to make their beds like to say that bed-making doesn’t matter when nobody else is going to see their bed. To that I’d say: Sometimes your night takes a turn, and someone you didn’t plan on seeing your bed is going to see your bed, and sorry, but unmade beds that aren’t yours are ten times as gross. And even if nobody ends up sleeping in your bed but you, it’s still worth it. Think of yourself as the surprise guest your bed deserves.

Most of the little tasks you complete in the morning are done to address immediate needs: You put in contacts so you can see. You eat breakfast and drink coffee and put on an outfit suitable to leaving the house. Making your bed, though — that’s something you do for future you, who will, we can only hope, get home safe and tired maybe fourteen or eighteen hours from now. And future you is always, always going to love having something cozy to climb into. Making your bed is setting to rights, and starting your day with purpose, but it’s also taking care of yourself in advance — like getting your annual check-up, but free, or like exercising, but easier.

In order to accept bed-making as a ritual, you must stop thinking of it as a chore. You are no longer making your bed because your mom will withhold your allowance if you don’t. You’re making your bed because you know those extra thirty seconds of labor now are worth the sensation of sliding your legs between cool cotton sheets tucked tight. You are making your bed because it feels good to be awake, and it feels great to know you get to sleep again soon.