If you make your bed right away after you wake up, millions of dust mites that live on it will be trapped. They feed of your dead skin cells and sweat and can contribute to asthma and allergy issues. An unmade bed will expose the creatures to light and fresh air and will help to dehydrate and kill them.
Dr. Stephen Pretlove from Kingston University School of Architecture offers a simple explanation – when you make your bed immediately after waking up, you’re trapping your sweat, dead skin cells and your body heat under the sheets. Leaving it unmade, you’re exposing the mites to light and drying them.
When we sleep we sweat a lot, creating ideal conditions for the dust mites.
The reason why this article tells you to not make the bed after sleeping is curbing the mites number. As many as 1.5 million dust mites live in our beds – it’s not the quantity that is the problem, it’s what they leave behind. Their excretion can irritate dust allergies and cause asthma.
Carolyn Forte, the director of the cleaning lab at the Good Housekeeping institute, says that not making the bed will not make a difference, since dust mites are found everywhere. However, she also said that leaving the bed unmade for some time will help the sheets dry from the sweat. As we sleep we sweat and shed dead skin cells, which feeds the mites. If the bed is made after waking up, we trap the sweat and dead skin cells and the mites are in ideal conditions.
Forte said that making the bed after breakfast is a good practice, besides washing the sheets and pillow cases every two weeks.
But if you leave the bed unmade, the dust mites dry up.
“We know that the dust mites can only survive by taking in water from the atmosphere using small glands on the outside of their body”, Dr. Pretlove says.
So the experts are really recommending leaving the bed unmade for the day. After a day’s exposure to light and air, the dust mites will die, leaving you to breathe easier.