Dust mites: Sleep expert reveals why you shouldn't make your bed every morning

Unmade bed - stock image
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It's an old adage that those who make their beds in the morning are more likely to be successful due to increased productivity - but bedding experts are now making a case against a made bed.

According to eachnight, a platform dedicated to resources and support for better sleep, skipping the sheets in the morning may actually have some surprising benefits aside from saving time.

While making the bed can foster a sense of accomplishment and set you up for a productive day, it can also foster an ideal breeding ground for hordes of pesky dust mites, a spokesperson for eachnight said.  

Dust mites are tiny, insect-like pests that feed on dead skin cells and thrive in warm, humid settings - bed sheets being a particular hotspot. While they are not parasites that bite, sting or burrow into our bodies, they are a common allergen that can cause symptoms such as itching, sneezing, rashes, nasal congestion and watery eyes, as well as asthma or eczema.      

As the tiny mites love the warm and the wet, bedding - with our dead skin, sweat and warmth - is a hotbed for these critters to fester and reproduce. Dust mites do not drink water, but absorb moistures from the air - hence, they cannot survive in low-humidity areas.

Leaving the bed unmade, however, can be a simple hack for eliminating some of the creepy-crawlies. According to the eachnight experts, leaving the sheets untouched for about 30 minutes to one hour can help starve the mites as moisture and sweat from overnight evaporates. Immediately making the bed after rising keeps the mites' cosy and warm and can lock in your body heat and moisture for longer, as opposed to airing it out.   

They also suggest washing or changing your sheets at least once a week to reduce the number of mites, as well as maintaining a well-ventilated bedroom. Washing or changing your bedding removes the build-up of skin cells and moisture; to kill the existing mites, Mayo Clinic recommends all sheets, blankets, pillowcases and bed covers are washed in hot water (at least 55C). Freezing non-washable items for 24 hours also can kill mites, but this won't remove the allergens.  

Other recommended steps include vacuuming your mattress, chairs and other upholstery to make your home less hospitable - ensuring there's less mites for when you crawl into bed later that day.     

"Unfortunately, completely eliminating all dust mites is impossible, but by following these simple steps, you will create a healthier, cleaner bedroom to enjoy a better night's sleep," the spokesperson said.