Didn’t make your bed this morning? No problem.
Growing up, your mom probably insisted that you make your bed in the morning. But it’s time to put this little habit to rest (haha!). In fact, it could be better for your physical health to leave your bed unmade, experts say.
The culprits allowing you to be extra lazy?
Dust mites. These little critters feed on dead human skin and produce allergens that you could inhale in your sleep. And approximately 1.5 million dust mites are spending the night with you right now. (This one item in your bedroom has 10 pounds of dead skin on it, too.) Thankfully, there’s an easy solution to get rid of them: Don’t make your bed.
Researchers at Kingston University have found that bugs thrive in warm, moist environments but can’t survive in dry conditions, the BBC reports. While making your bed every morning cultivates a humid habitat for these creepy crawlies, keeping your sheets open kills them off. Translation?
Sometimes, it pays to be a little lazy.
“We know that mites can only survive by taking in water from the atmosphere using small glands on the outside of their body,” Dr. Stephen Pretlove told the BBC. “Something as simple as leaving a bed unmade during the day can remove moisture from the sheets and mattress so the mites will dehydrate and eventually die.”
Fewer dust mites means fewer asthma and allergy triggers, too. Not all experts are convinced, though; according to some, most homes are humid enough for dust mites to thrive, regardless of what we do.
“I find it hard to believe that simply not making your bed would have any impact on the overall humidity,” says Andrew Wardlaw of the British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
Some other ways to keep your bed germ-free: Never, ever let your pets sleep in your bed. Don’t even think about sitting on your bed with outside clothes, either.
Sleep tight tonight—if you can!
Originally published as This Is Why Not Making Your Bed Can Actually Boost Your Health on ReadersDigest.com.