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The Healthy Bed – Made or Unmade?

This post was written by Carrie Obry
on May 27, 2010 | Comments (9)

Sometimes I roll my eyes at the posts I find online promising that I can be happier by just reading a few simple tips. Eh. Isn’t happiness… well, an existential dilemma? Don’t we have to call in therapists and philosophers with PhdDs to help us with that? Or at least spread a little love around the world before we can find peace within ourselves? The answer, of course, is yes and no. On a daily basis, it’s the simple things you can easily control that go far to increase your happiness.

This post Twenty Easier Ways to Be Happier at Divine Caroline charmed me instantly with its first tip. Make your bed. At The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin says “making the bed is one of the quickest, easiest steps to keeping our bedroom orderly.” And we all know that an orderly environment leads to a calm frame of mind. It will give you a sense of accomplishment and make completing your other tasks easier, too.

To look at the other side of this coin, though, people have competing ideas on the matter, saying that women with unmade beds have a better sex life and fewer dust mites. Not bad at all! To add even more food for thought, there’s also the idea that our decision to make or not make our bed is a metaphor for our personal style. When the Times Online reported that Sharon Stone compared Meryl Streep to an “unmade bed,” one reporter began asking readers which type of woman they are: an Unmade Bed or a Pristine Pillow. (And if you’re courageous enough to answer that question, I’m kind of dying to know.)

Whether you’re more of a lazy, downturned sheet or a perfectly plumped pillow, here’s a ritual to make your bed a pristine and fantastic place to spend some time. Author Tess Whitehurst, an expert in creating sacred space, shares this and other lovely tips in Magical Housekeeping. Here’s a good place to start.

Bed-Cleansing Ritual


4 white or off-white soy tealight candles in jars

At least a dozen white roses

A mister of rose water

In the evening, when the moon is between full and new, move the bed away from the wall and remove all the bedding. (You might want to take this time to throw the bedding in the laundry, as you’ll want to be freshly cleaned before you replace it.) Place a candle on the ground at each corner. Be very aware of fire safety. Light each candle and turn out the electric lights. Pull out all the rose petals and spread them on top of the bare mattress. Stand over the bed, put your hands in prayer position, close your eyes, and ask for forty angels to powerfully cleanse the energy of your bed and remove all negativity. Visualize the light from the candles expanding until the entire bed is transformed into sparkling golden-white light. Know that this light is burning away and transmuting all old and stagnant energy and replacing it with fresh, new, vibrant energy. Allow the candles to safely burn for at least forty minutes. Then remove the candles and petals and mist the mattress and box spring lightly with rose water. Bury the petals or scatter them at the base of a tree. Dispose of the candles.

Reader Comments

Written By Elysia
on May 28th, 2010 @ 10:02 am

Ha! Great article! In my home it’s half and half – my side of the bed is unmade, and my husband’s side is made. Of course, sometimes he just can’t tolerate the unkemptness and makes my side of the bed too! Then the cats lounge on it all day. Well, they do that whether the bed is made or not. : )

Written By Carrie Obry
on May 28th, 2010 @ 1:12 pm

Ha. Maybe you’d make the bed, too, if you could lounge on it all day. 🙂

Written By Kelsu
on May 28th, 2010 @ 8:24 pm

when I have people over (social or otherwise) I make the bed and pick up the clothes, dust, etc.

Otherwise, my philosophy on the bed is leave the covers turned down to let the bed air out. When we sleep, we sweat and lose a lot of moisture in the bed, as well as exhale, etc. so the bed gets aired out if left unmade. I love a freshly dressed bed, made to perfection every Friday.

Written By Brandi Palechek
on June 1st, 2010 @ 12:26 pm

I’m more of an unmade bed myself. 😉 I do try to clean up the house and get things tidy before I leave for work in the morning. For me, it feels better to come home to a (more or less) clean house. I’m not a neat freak so I’m also cool with just leaving the bed unmade. Love bed-cleansing ritual and will be trying this one out before the new moon this month!

Written By RedFeather
on June 2nd, 2010 @ 10:43 am

I was raised to be a bed-maker. Now that I am married and have my own apartment, I choose not to make my bed. Truthfully, I have a hard time understanding why I need to make it when I’m going to sleep in it again the next night. My husband’s pretty much the same way.

Written By rebecca
on June 2nd, 2010 @ 3:55 pm

Make it everyday and make everbody eles… Is that OCD or what. I like it inviting. plus when My girlfriends gather its good to go sitting talking or tarot reading hanging out, reading just basic . I would have more pillows more romance…..

Written By Kim
on June 2nd, 2010 @ 6:57 pm

When I was single, the bed was never made. After being married for over 10 years, making the bed every morning meant each party started out with the same amount of covers at bed time. Then, I began to appreciate that the made bed translated to a tidy room overall. I can’t wait to perform the cleansing ritual – what a refreshing way to start the summer!

Written By Doreen Shababy
on June 3rd, 2010 @ 9:55 am

This is a very interesting article. I know I feel cozier when I get into the made-up bed in the evening, that I fixed it up for me & my sweetie, and there it is waiting…
I like how it looks made too, it’s just a lot more inviting. It bothers me to see it messy later in the day, mostly because I don’t keep up as well with the rest of the house LOL so I need a refuge — if not my room or my bed, then where?
my dog gets up on the (made) bed when she gets a chance… my cat never does…

Written By Sheila Halet
on September 21st, 2015 @ 11:00 am

At age 72 after a 52 year marriage – my hubby and I share different bedrooms…albeit next to each other. He makes his bed every morning prior to going down to his “old man”cave where the computer awaits.
I on the other hand leave my bedroom to air out and it stays aired out till I go to bed….either to play with my toys or watch tv. I DESERVE IT BECAUSE I AM 72 AND FINALLY HAVE MY OWN ROOM.

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