We all have a special connection with our beds. It is the haven where you crawl and snuggle under the warm sheets after a long day. You ensure it has the best mattress with some people going to an extent of naming their beds as a show of appreciation for the warmth it offers. But whether you name it or not, you cannot deny the special feelings you have in your bed. Even after a palatial vacation, it’s the only place you want to crawl into and experiences the safety and sense of belonging it gives you.
But did you know your bed could be making you sick without your knowledge?
Various studies carried out have revealed that your bed hosts a number of contaminants including allergens, bacteria, and fungi. Although they are invisible to your naked eyes, you easily stir them when you go to bed. As a result, they contaminate the air and you breathe them into ending up being infected.
What are Some of the Contaminants Present in your Mattress?
In most cases, your mattress is the main culprit of contaminants since it is rarely changed or washed like the bed sheets. Below are the most common contaminants invading your bed and methods of preventing them.
Dust mites are tiny in stature and are globally present apart from Antarctica. These bugs feed on flaked human skin. On average, every person sheds about 1.5 grams of skin every day which is enough to feed a million dust mites. After flaking off, the dead skin deposits on stuffed toys, carpets, mattress, bed sheets, furniture, and other fabric items.
According to Dr. William Burger of American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, the mites are not the problem, their feces are. The feces are highly allergic and cause nose and eyes irritation even if you are not technically allergic.
How to Get Rid of Dust Mites
Controlling dust mites takes more than just killing them. You need to get rid of the dead ones, remove their droppings, and control their breeding. To get rid of dust mites and protect your home from the future infestation, use the following steps recommended by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency, the Institutes of Medicine, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Make it hard for the pests to multiply by lowering the humidity by less than 50%: Increase the number of mattress and pillow covers to create a layer between your skin and the dust mites.
- Allergen-impermeable covers will also help to keep off the mites: Make sure you clean the bedding at least once a week using the hottest water possible. You should ensure the sheets are completely dry before using them again. -Remove allergens from furniture and carpets by using a HEPA filter vacuum.
Mold and Fungi
Mold and fungi contain contaminants smaller than the diameter of your hair. A study done on pillows revealed that they contain over 47 fungi species. According to Brendan Boor, an assistant professor at Purdue University College of Engineering, your bed is infested with bacteria, allergens, and fungi. The level of exposure to these contaminants depends on the intensity of your movement. Placing a HEPA filter next to your bed will help capture all allergens stirred up when you move.
You are supposed to feel cool and cozy under the blankets. Unfortunately, this is not the case since you spend a third of your life in bed and you are likely to sweat and shiver under the sheets. There are certain studies that claim that over 26 gallons of sweat is poured on your good mattress and bed sheets. You can minimize the amount of sweat by using a washable bedding pad under your sheets. Also, ensure you clean your bedding once a week using hot water.
If you have kids or a pet, it is inevitable that they will have accidents on the bed. This can result in sleeping with pet saliva and dandruff which will cause allergic reactions. Boor suggests vacuuming your mattress and pillow in addition to the cleaning of bed sheets after an accident. The process helps remove dust, fur, dander, and any other contaminants.
Results of Maintaining your Bedding Fresh and Clean
You can achieve a healthy and peaceful night’s sleep by ensuring your bed is clean and fresh in addition to using the right mattress. Use a HEPA filter to get rid of all possible airborne contaminants on your bed.