Do you make your bed every day?
I confess that I do not, although I’m getting better. Having an honest-to-goodness quilt that I made myself on the bed with matching pillow shams helps a lot. I get a sense of satisfaction from smoothing it out across the mattress, and I like the effect the soothing mix of buttery yellow, gray and taupe fabrics has on the room.
It’s not uncommon, though, for this to be the sight I see in our bedroom, that of the quilt backing I pieced using a variety of fun fabric panels. One that I made sure to position on my side of the bed reproduces posters from some of Audrey Hepburn’s most-loved movies including “Roman Holiday,” undeniably the best romantic comedy ever made.
I’ve been thinking about how I actually use my quilt now that I finished it because today is National Make Your Bed Day. You may be asking yourself, “Why do we need a National Make Your Bed Day anyway?” It does seem … kind of trivial, all things considered.
Well, it turns out there is some scientific basis to the notion that making your bed in the morning will improve your life.
The National Sleep Foundation conducted a scientific poll about sleep habits a few years ago. Of interest to quilters is that 85% of respondents said they consider comfortable sheets and bedding as being important to getting a good night’s sleep. Not surprising, right?
There didn’t seem to be any difference in terms of the importance of comfy bedding between those who actually get a good night’s sleep most of the time vs. those who don’t. In general, people just believe that comfortable bedding contributes to a good night’s sleep, whether they’re sleeping well or not. (I did the deep digging so you don’t have to.)
However, it’s worth noting that those who regularly make their beds (every day or almost every day) reported getting a good night’s sleep more often than those who make their beds infrequently or not at all.
Bearing in mind that correlation and causation are two different things, the National Sleep Foundation offered this theory for the difference:
People who reported making their bed in the morning were 19 percent more likely to get a good night’s sleep every night. It’s not clear why this is, but perhaps there is a connection between feeling good about where you sleep and your tendency to sleep through the night.
The New York Times recently weighed in on the subject, too, with an article entitled “Want to Have a Good Day? Try Making the Bed First” that quotes Adm. William H. McRaven, retired, on the importance of making your bed and provides some contradictory tips for bed-making best practices.
The National Sleep Foundation also offers some suggestions for improving sleep:
Imagine your bedroom as a sanctuary. When you walk in—or simply think about your bedroom—it should make you feel relaxed and peaceful. Taking care of your sleep environment and putting thought into its look and feel is important, and could help you welcome more restful nights.
Choose wall colors that elicit warmth and calm. Although researchers have studied the psychology of color and some believe that certain hues affect our mood (for example, red being stimulating), no one knows your color-feeling connections better than you do. Pick colors, artwork, blankets, and so forth that are soothing to you.
So bear with me here:
If a quilter spends a lot of time making a bed quilt she or he likes, then she or he is more likely to make the bed in the morning; the same can be assumed of those who receive quilts as gifts. If more beds are made more often, people will start getting better sleep on a more regular basis. If people start getting better sleep, not only will they be nicer and more pleasant to be around, they will work more efficiently and the GDP will skyrocket, leading us to an era of prosperity and happiness we can only dream of (so to speak).
See? Science is telling us to make more quilts! Quilters, the nation is depending on us.
A Happy National Make Your Bed Day to all!