While it may be better for your mental health to make your bed, it could be better for your physical health to leave it a complete mess, say scientists.
Those who are terrified of creepy crawlies may want to stop reading now. Here's why: Leaving the bed unmade, according to scientists who spoke with the BBC, allows the million or so dust mites who share the sack with you every night to die off. This should come as a bit of a relief to people who don't make like their bed, much like — according to his wife, Christina Geist — our very own Willie Geist.
Savannah Guthrie was quick to note that a house divided will not stand, "It must... lay down. On an unmade bed apparently."
Lucky for Willie, science is most likely in his corner on this one.
As some of us are aware (but try not to be), dust mites are everywhere, and feed on scales of human skin; they also produce allergens that can be inhaled during sleep. And approximately 1.5 million of them are hanging out with you every night when you go to sleep.
When you return from running and screaming around your room, here's the solution to get rid of them: Don't make the bed!
The bugs are happiest in a warm, moist environment (like one you're in while you get your zzzzzs), and are more likely to die off when that environment changes (and you leave). Keeping the sheets wide open helps in their demise.
As Dr. Stephen Pretlove told the BBC, "We know that mites can only survive by taking in water from the atmosphere using small glands on the outside of their body. 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."
Mites can be a factor in triggering asthma, too; fewer mites means fewer triggers. But as Professor Andrew Wardlaw of the British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology noted, most homes are humid enough that they're going to thrive regardless.
"I find it hard to believe that simply not making your bed would have any impact on the overall humidity," he said.
Clearly, this debate has not been put to bed.
This article was originally published on September 11, 2015.