Looking for an excuse to leave your bed unmade? New science suggests that despite what your parents told you, it could actually be good for you to leave your bed as-is after waking. Why? The simple answer is the microscopic dust mite.
While we may not know this – or if we do we choose not to think about it – we share our beds with about a million tiny dust mites at night. These tiny insects thrive in warm and humid environments, like the ones we create while we slumber, and actually feed on sloughed off skin scales in our beds. Gross.
Scientists now report that leaving your bed unmade, while perhaps hard for our mental health, may be good for our physical health. Dust mites create allergens that you inhale while you sleep. These allergens can contribute to asthma and cause allergic reactions in some people. New science suggests the best way to combat these minuscule monsters is to leave your bed a mess.
The reasoning is that dust mites take in needed moisture through small glands on the outside of their bodies. If the mites dehydrate, they die. Keeping your bed unmade reduces the amount of moisture retained in the bedding and mattress and could help wage war on these tiny pests.
Other scientists disagree. Those opposed to the new evidence counter that the conditions in our homes are already humid and warm enough for mites to thrive and there is little we can do about it absent good housekeeping practices.
The dust mite debate, rages on, leaving the slovenly with only a dicey excuse for that mussed bed.