Every single morning growing up, you were probably berated by your parents to make your bed before any other morning rituals. Well, it turns out mom and dad were wrong – it’s actually better for you, and for your overall health, not to make your bed at all.
And it’s all because of these little guys, the infamous house dust mite.
These microscopic little buggers are running rampant in your bed, with an average bed housing up to 1.5 million of them. One of their favourite meals, similar to Goldmember, are human skin scales, so it’s a natural buffet under the covers. The allergens they produce (which are actually the mites’ poop) are subtly inhaled during sleep, causing illnesses such as asthma.
When we sweat and roll around at night, our skin is flaking, and the sheets are dampening, creating the ultimate ecosystem for the mites. Pulling the sheets over the bed in the morning keeps the sweat and mites buried underneath, ideal conditions for the dust mites to thrive.
If we don’t make our beds, however, the mites, the scales, the sweat, all of it, will be exposed to fresh air and light.
“We know that mites can only survive by taking in water from the atmosphere using small glands on the outside of their body,” Dr. Stephen Pretlove of Kingston University’s School of Architecture told the BBC.
“Something as simple as leaving a bed unmade during the day can remove moisture from the sheets and mattress so the mites will dehydrate and eventually die.”
Experts are recommending you leave your bed untidy the entire day, making it only when you get home (if you want to). By that point, many of the mites will have died an unceremonious death.
Don’t forget to tell your parents your lazy self was right all this time.