Studies claim making your bed is the first step of a productive day that can even improve your mental health.
Studies show that making your bed can create a ripple effect of productivity throughout the day. The main theory behind making your bed is that you’ve accomplished at least one thing that day, according to the author of Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life… And Maybe the World.
William H. McRaven is a retired Navy four-star admiral and former chancellor of the University of Texas System. He believes in the importance of making your bed so much that he wrote a book about it. In the book, published in 2017, the main theory behind making your bed is that you’ve accomplished at least one thing that day. By doing this you can create a domino effect for the rest of the day.
“It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another.”
Starting you day with this task will according to McRaven, “will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another.”
McRaven recounts in his book that basic Navy SEAL training includes making your bed every morning and if you failed at the task you would have to run 16kms. This taught him that making the bed was an important step to starting the day off right and avoiding long morning runs.
This theory stuck with McRaven for years and when his team captured Saddam Hussein in Iraq he went to check his bed. That’s when he noticed Hussein didn’t make his bed which showed the laziness of the captured dictator.
While making your bed may seem like a pointless task it is part of a morning ritual that can set you up for success. A morning ritual such as making your bed can impact your productivity and help measure healthy success. Creating a morning ritual can allow us to successfully complete tasks and equip us to handle whatever is thrown our way throughout the day without feeling overwhelmed.
But this isn’t saying you can capture a dictator by making your bed every morning, but you can set an intention for your day. Research by Elizabeth Scott, MS has found that some people find it quite calming knowing the first simple thing they can do for themselves is make their bed. It has also been found that people who are more likely to make their bed tend to be those over 40 or living with romantic partners. This also found that gender comes into play, with women being more likely to have a tidy environment and pay more attention to manners and social norms.
“Keeping an organised, clutter-free environment and having improved focus, goal-setting skills, productivity and lower levels of stress.”
BMJ Journal studies said they have found that there is evidence showing links between, stating “keeping an organised, clutter-free environment and having improved focus, goal-setting skills, productivity and lower levels of stress.” This includes making your bed, as messier homes have been linked to poorer executive function and issues with stress.
Making your bed also gives you a feeling of accomplishment, as just like exercising in the moring it gives you the feeling of productivity. Not only does it make your space look cleaner, reduce stress and encourages productivity, it also helps you sleep better. According to a study by Salynn Boyles, “people who make their beds in the morning are 19% more likely to get a good night sleep than those who don’t.”
Making your bed won’t turn you into a superhero but it can create positive changes and habits over time. It can help create a domino effect of tasks being achieved throughout the day and improve your headspace by surrounding yourself with a clean environment.