Wanna Fall Asleep Faster? Make Your Bed

Written by

Heather Balogh Rochfort , Contributing Writer
Our Editorial Process
Our editorial process includes extensive measures to verify accuracy, provide clarity on complex topics, and present factual information. Read more

At a Glance:

  • 45.4% of U.S. adult survey respondents who make their bed every day and turn down their covers every night fall asleep within 20 minutes.
  • 38.4% of adults make their bed every day. 
  • 15.8% of adults never make their bed.
  • Men are 11.4% more likely to make their bed daily than women.
  • Women are 5.6% more likely to never make their bed.
  • We make our bed 4.1 days a week, on average.

Overstimulation can lead to anxiety, a common reason we lose sleep. This may have a special meaning in our sleep environment, says Dr. Michael J. Breus, Ph.D., of The Sleep Doctor.

“A clean room represents a clean mind,” he says. 

It may start with our mattress and bed: 45.4% of people who make their bed every day and turn down their covers every night fall asleep within 20 minutes, the typical time it takes us to fall asleep, according to The Sleep Doctor’s December 2022 survey of 1,250 U.S. adults. Comparatively, only 36% of adults who never make their bed fall asleep within 20 minutes.

“A clean room represents a clean mind.” — Dr. Michael J. Breus, Ph.D., The Sleep Doctor

On average, we make our bed more often than not — 4.1 days a week, to be exact. For those of us like Jess Allen, 44, it may give us a sense of purpose every morning.

“I feel one task completed builds momentum and leads to another,” says Allen, a busy home-schooling mom in Phoenix. “Once I wake, I get dressed, wash my face, brush my teeth, and make my bed. My morning routine sets the tone for my day and is so ingrained in me that it is almost automatic.”

With 38.4% of respondents making their bed every day, and people who make their bed at least five days a week averaging 16 minutes, 51 seconds, doing so, it’s clear this practice occupies valuable time. So does bedmaking increase sleep hygiene? What other factors motivate us to do it in the first place?

And are the 15.8% of us who never make the bed missing out on higher-quality rest? Here’s a closer look at what we found. 

How Does Making the Bed Relate to Sleeping Better?

First, quality and quantity can be two different things.

Survey respondents who make their bed every day and those who never make their bed reported sleeping the same amount every night: 6 hours, 36 minutes, on average.

It doesn’t necessarily matter when you make the bed, either. Ryan Mase, a 33-year-old from Colorado, makes his bed daily. Sometimes, he does it at night just before bedtime.

“A made bed is significantly more comfortable to get into each evening,” says Mase, noting that he can relax and doze off much quicker.

The sweet spot might come for those who make their bed and then turn down the covers.

According to the survey, people in this cohort — 22.4% of respondents — sleep nine minutes longer than those who never turn down the covers. And 77.1% of those people also make their bed daily. 

Turn-down service may have a slight effect on falling asleep, too. Some 43.2% of people who turn down the covers every night say they fall asleep within 20 minutes, even more than those who make their bed daily.

On average, respondents turn down their covers 3.3 days each week. Some 22.1% never do it. Another 14.6% haven’t heard of the practice, which basically entails preparing your covers, sheets, and pillows for getting in bed.

Who Is Making Their Bed?

Women, on average, spend 47.4 more minutes on daily household activities than men. But survey data show that when it comes to making the bed, men often are the ones doing the tidying.

Men are 11.4% more likely than women to make their beds each day. On the flip side, only 12.3% of male respondents never make their beds, whereas 18.3% of female respondents don’t bother.

Bedmaking Habits

Carrie Keahey is a 40-year-old elementary school teacher in Colorado, and she proudly admits to fitting the statistics. As a dedicated non-bedmaker, Keahey doesn’t believe fussing is necessary.

“I’m a minimalist and like things super simple,” Keahey says. “If I’m just going to mess it up at night, why add that step?”

25.9% of adults ages 18 to 24 make their bed every day, compared to 50% of those ages 55 and older.

Shirine Dugan, a 29-year-old mother from Oregon, also never makes her bed and says that she sleeps better that way because the loose sheets are easier to wrap around her body.

“I don’t see the point,” says Dugan, whose sentiment echoes that of 37.7% of respondents who make their bed fewer than five days a week, the most popular reason cited for skipping bedmaking. “I sleep longer when it’s unmade, especially because I don’t like the sides tucked in.”

Icon Shop the Best Mattresses of 2023

Some research has suggested that unmade beds may reduce allergens, as well.
Age also is a factor in bedmaking: The younger we are, the less likely we are to make the bed. Survey respondents ages 18 to 24 make their bed every 3.4 days each week, compared to the 4.1 days for all respondents. Only 25.9% of that group make their bed every day, compared to 50% of respondents ages 55 and older.  

Why Do People Make Their Beds?

Among people who make their bed five or more days a week, 67.7% of respondents report that cleanliness is their biggest motivator.

Next to tidiness, 62.8% of adults report they make the bed out of habit, and 50.6% do it for comfort. 

“It’s like doing the dishes at night,” Mase says. “I prefer to have clean spaces to come back to.”

Aside from reducing anxiety, a host of benefits come with making your bed. According to Dr. Breus, making your bed can improve self-confidence, build a foundation for better habits, and help tidy your bedroom, which leads to more order and organization.

The best part: There aren’t any drawbacks to making your bed, either.

“As long as your bed partner is not in it, you should always be OK,” Dr. Breus says.

Methodology

The survey commissioned by The Sleep Doctor was conducted on the online survey platform Pollfish on Dec. 16, 2022. Results are from 1,250 survey participants in the United States who were ages 18 and older at the time of the survey and indicated that they regularly sleep in a bed. All respondents attested to answering the survey questions truthfully and accurately.

References

+6 Sources

  1. Chellappa, S. L., & Aeschbach, D. (2022). Sleep and anxiety: From mechanisms to interventions. Sleep medicine reviews, 61, 101583. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34979437/
  2. Zolovska, B., & Shatkin, J. (2013). Key Differences in Pediatric versus Adult Sleep. Encyclopedia of Sleep, 573–578. Retrieved Jan. 18, 2023, from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780123786104004964
  3. Table 1. Time spent in primary activities and percent of the civilian population engaging in each activity, averages per day by sex, 2021 annual averages – 2021 A01 Results. (2021). U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved Jan. 19, 2023, from https://www.bls.gov/news.release/atus.t01.htm
  4. Messy bedroom could spell end for creepy crawlies – Kingston University London. (2005, January 17). Kingston University London. Retrieved Jan. 19, 2023, from https://www.kingston.ac.uk/news/archive/2005/january/17-messy-bedroom-could-spell-end-for-creepy-crawlies/

About The Author

Heather Balogh Rochfort

Contributing Writer

Heather Balogh Rochfort is a freelance writer based in Carbondale, Colorado. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, Outside, Sierra, Men’s Journal, The Denver Post, and more.

  • Position: Side Sleeper
  • Temperature: Cold Sleeper
  • Chronotype: Bear

Thanks for the feedback!

Feedback like yours helps us make The Sleep Doctor the most helpful site it can be.

Submitting your Answer...