Have you ever wondered what an unmade bed says about you? could the way you leave your bed each morning reflect your state of mind?
In the sixties my family lived in one room on the top floor of a terraced house in South London. The bed took centre stage and if left unmade would throw the whole room into disarray. With the bed made, the room would take on a certain glow and everything else that needed to be tidied would fall into place.
There are psychological as well as environmental benefits of a well-made bed. In a recent article, Make Your Bed For Peace and Prosperity the author cites how according to Charles Duhigg in his book, The Power Of Habit, "making your bed every morning is correlated with better productivity and stronger skills at sticking with a budget".
My mum's exemplary skill at bed-making rubbed off on me. From the age of eight I could make a bed that would look like it belonged in a five star hotel. Once the bed was made it naturally inspired me to sweep the carpet and then clear my desk or declutter the mantelpiece in my bedroom in the family home we moved to when I was aged four.
Fast-forward into 2014 and I frequently remake the bed my partner thinks they have just made. A bed with lumps, even one lump, is in my mind is an unmade bed. The scene that greets me of attempts to make the bed after guests and even my siblings have departed after staying the night is even more astonishing. We are clearly a nation who knows very little about the art of bed making.
I've noticed several positive benefits of a well-made bed. The first is how much clearer and focused it makes me feel at the start of the day. There's something confidently reassuring about how the bed is left and knowing that at the end of the day I'm returning to a bed that’s smiling rather than a pile of crumpled sheets and rumpled duvet in a heap looking back at me with a frown.
It’s definitely worth the three minutes it takes to make a bed as it provides an instant sense of accomplishment before hurling myself headlong into my day.
A well made bed also aid's better sleep. A recent study showed that participants slept better when:
- they made their beds everyday
- bed sheets were clean and changed once a week
- they slept on comfortable mattresses and pillows
So it seems there was some validity in being reminded to make the bed as a child. In a survey of 68,000 people by Hunch.com, 59 per cent of people don't make their bed and 27 per cent do. And from those surveyed 71 per cent of the bed makers were happier compared to 62 per cent of non-bed makers who considered themselves unhappy.
It seems making your bed is good for your health, productivity and well-being.
With Christmas and the end of the year looming why not experiment with making the bed everyday for the next 21 days, the number of days suggested it takes to change a habit. Observe and notice how making the bed makes you feel with the intention that this will turn into a positive habit you'll carry effortlessly into the new-year.
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