Okay, so you’re going to have to just stick with me on this one as I’ll explain later, but making your bed in the morning can actually help you to change your unhealthy habits. First, if you’ve never seen the University of Texas at Austin 2014 Commencement Speech of Admiral William H. McRaven wherein he discusses the ten things he learned about life in SEAL training then watch it before you read on. Trust me, it’s worth it:
Pretty great, right? Today we’re only going to focus on the first lesson: “If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.” Admiral McRaven makes the point that making your bed every morning starts the day with a small but important accomplishment. This accomplishment can create a snowball effect that provides you with the momentum to accomplish other things throughout your day like going to the gym, or cooking a healthy meal, or taking a walk. Accomplishment leads to further accomplishment.
Admiral McRaven makes another important point, that even if everything else in your day goes horribly wrong you at least did something right that morning. You had that one accomplishment to start your day and you have the satisfaction of a made bed when you crawl in it at night. This can also provide some all-important hope that perhaps tomorrow will be better. This hope goes a long way when trying to change unhealthy habits.
The National Sleep Foundation would agree with Admiral McRaven, in fact, a recent poll found that “people who reported making their bed in the morning were 19 percent more likely to get a good night’s sleep every night.” Even though it’s not clear why this is, there may be “a connection between feeling good about where you sleep and your tendency to sleep through the night.” Just another added bonus of making your bed.
So, how can making your bed help you change your habits? By starting a chain reaction of accomplishment, hope, and by providing a good night’s sleep. Today is National Make Your Bed Day so go ahead and give it a shot and see if making your bed helps you live a healthier life.
Source: National Sleep Foundation (2010). Bedroom poll: Summary of findings. Retrieved from: https://sleepfoundation.org/sites/default/files/bedroompoll/NSF_Bedroom_Poll_Report.pdf