walkitout (walkitout) wrote,
walkitout
walkitout

Making Beds

I don't make beds. I mean, obviously I occasionally do. But I have a principled objection to making beds. It's complicated, and not really worth getting into here (short form: if the bed is made, I'm much less likely to take a nap, and anything that gets in the way of me napping is Very, Very Bad) and I'm not suggesting no one else should make beds, only that I don't.

I was not always this way. As a child, I not only made beds, I was damn persnickety about how they were made. I wasn't a coin bouncer, but only because I was operating on a different aesthetic (domestic vs. institutional). When I was time crunched in the late 1990s, I resorted to a bottom sheet and a duvet, but I still made sure it was all straightened. Not Making Beds was a decision I arrived at later in life and it was conscious.

As you can imagine, I'm pretty reactive to time management, domestic management and child rearing advice on the topic of making beds. And I ran across a remark that triggered me, so off I went to the interwebs to find out if people actually do make beds, other than when company is coming. (For the record, there's really only one person who I will make beds for, out of deference to her arrival, and I don't think she's ever been in this house. And no, not my mother.) I was searching innocently on how many people leave beds unmade or something along those lines and ran across Stephen Pretlove's heavily covered work (there was a burst of publicity in 2005 and again in 2010) on the subject of dust mites dying faster in unmade beds, because they aired/dries more completely than made beds.

Didn't see that coming. I'm not sure I believe it. But humorous.

http://bse.sagepub.com/content/26/4/301

A model, validated by comparing to 3 beds in actual rooms. Looks like you have to pay to get the full paper?

Nope: http://eprints.ucl.ac.uk/2450/1/2450.pdf

ETAYA: The stuff about head size of bed occupant is hilarious. I'm kind of starting to believe in this guy's work. D'oh! Ends on a cliffhanger! I need to find the next paper . . .

Having trouble finding the full text of some of the other papers (the pilot study one in particular *sigh*), however, it may be that _not_ making the bed in this instance may be almost as organized an activity as "making" the bed. That is, if the goal is to really reduce moisture/improve ventilation, maybe the idea is to fully separate all the linens and maximize air flow. I dunno. But here's yet another perspective:

http://makingahouseahome.blogspot.com/2007/08/airing-out-your-bed-and-bedroom.html

I feel like this might interfere with napping as well, but it is an interesting idea. It would guarantee that anything the kids lost in the bed and then got kicked towards the bottom of the bed would be discovered in a timely fashion, saving one the time of searching for it elsewhere in the house.

ETA still more: Not only do electric blankets reduce dust mites, but so does air conditioning, by reducing the humidity.

http://lancaster.unl.edu/pest/resources/dustmites311.shtml
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