Do This Before Leaving Your House in the Morning

October  9, 2017

Make your bed; change your entire day. It almost sounds too easy. While many quick fixes don’t live up to the hype, research shows that the simple act of making your bed is a true game-changer.

Starting your day by making your bed can actually mean you’ll sleep better that night. A National Sleep Foundation survey found that those participants who regularly made their beds were 19 percent more likely to report getting a good night’s sleep and sleeping longer.

And the benefits go far beyond a better night’s sleep. Another survey found that 71 percent of bed-makers say that they are happy, while 62 percent of non bed-makers say that they’re unhappy. Still not convinced? According to Psychology Today, “Bed makers are also more likely to like their jobs, own a home, exercise regularly, and feel well rested, whereas non-bed-makers hate their jobs, rent apartments, avoid the gym, and wake up tired.”

Bed-makers are generally a get-up-and-go type of bunch, and that carries over into every part of their lives. “If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day,” said U.S. Navy Admiral William H. McRaven in his 2014 commencement speech at the University of Texas. It’s all about creating a positive habit. “Making your bed every morning is correlated with better productivity, a greater sense of well-being, and stronger skills at sticking with a budget,” writes Pulitzer Prize-winning author Charles Duhigg in The Power of Habit. He argues that “those initial shifts start chain reactions that help other good habits take hold.”

30 seconds of tidying for a serious life transformation? Seems simple enough. But surprisingly, only 27 percent of people actually make their beds every morning. If you’re in the unmade majority, it only takes about two months to establish a new habit, so get started today (or tomorrow morning) by making the bed. Pretty soon, it will be part of a new routine, and a very productive, and well-rested, new you.

Do you buy into making your bed for a better day? Tell us in the comments!

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • judy
  • Brad
  • BerryBaby
  • emcsull
  • Niknud


judy October 10, 2017
I guess I'll speak for those who don't make their beds--I am one of them. I just don't. I'll be back in it in a few hours sleeping again, then up again. I am up and down 3-4 times in 24 hours. I never made the connection between happiness and bed-making. I consider myself a generally happy person. I do what I have energy for. Bed making isn't one of them. Would I have more energy for other things in my life if I made my bed? Who knows? I used to stress over order, and now I live in mild household chaos, and don't have stress. When it gets too untidy, then I spend a day cleaning, including making my bed, and start over. Works for me. This correlation between happiness and bed-making seems to me to be too pat. but then I am on the side of those who don't make their bed every day, and I am generally a pretty happy person.!
Brad October 9, 2017
Is it not more likely that people who sleep better are more awake and make their beds while poor sleepers barely make it out the door let alone make their bed?

Flawed logic in connecting the two.
BerryBaby October 9, 2017
Have always made my bed right after I wake up. Yes, it's wonderful to have things in order and makes me feel good. Same thing for the kitchen. Everything cleaned, put away, coffee ready for morning, it's so gratifying to wake up to a clean kitchen. Plus I sleep better knowing it's sparkling. BB
emcsull October 9, 2017
My husband generally gets up after me, he leaves the bedclothes drawn back neatly to air and when he comes home in the evening he makes the bed beautifully. This works too !
Niknud October 9, 2017
There was a great commencement speech by Adm William McRaven that's out there on YouTube about just this. Worth a watch. I didn't embed the link but a quick google will bring it up.
Niknud October 9, 2017
As mentioned in the article above. SMH.
AntoniaJames October 9, 2017
I've seen other articles on this topic in the past few years (perhaps after that commencement address) and I must say, the first time I was somewhat puzzled. I had no idea that there are adults out there who don't make their beds every morning. I cannot even imagine that . . . . ;o)
BerryBaby October 10, 2017
Me too! I can't inagine walking into a bedroom after work and seeing the bed unmade. I like things neat and orderly. Even my puppies get their beds changed twice a day! Thinking of it, the whole house stays tidy, no stacked newspapers, no dishes ever in the sink, towels always hung neatly, doesn't take much to keep thing in order JMO. 😄
Tyler, T. October 17, 2017
Hear hear!
Sucheta M. October 9, 2017
Does no one here understand the difference between association and causation?
Can one editor take an epidemiology class, please.
caninechef October 9, 2017
This was exactly my first thought. A natural affinity between bed-making and happiness, success, health whatever does in no way imply that the first leads to the latter.
witloof October 9, 2017
I make my bed because it's depressing to walk into my bedroom to an unmade bed at night. I use a duvet so it's simple to just shake it over the bed and fold the top down.
SMSF October 9, 2017
It seems to me that making one's bed is a simple show of self respect. Have a good day, all!
Sara October 9, 2017
I don't know about completely changing one's life, but making one's bed as the morning gets going, can give a sense of order and control -- probably contributing to a mind set for the day. Not to mention that it is now ready for when it is all over at day's end ... to put one's feet up.