If you’ve been lazy about washing and replacing your bedding, it’s time to kick that bad habit. A recent study has shown just how much your mattress, sheets, and pillows can affect your quality of life.
According to the Daily Mail, the bed specialists at Dreams conducted a scientific study of eight-year-old mattresses to determine how much bacteria a bed can absorb over the course of its lifespan. The results, to say the least, are quite unnerving.
Researchers said that every single mattress they studied was riddled with high levels of bacteria, and part of the study was learning why they tend to get so germ-infested over time.
“As mattresses tend to get warm during the night, molds, yeasts, and bacteria — which thrive in humid conditions — can build up to worrying levels,” said hygiene expert Dr. Lisa Ackerley, a professor at the University of Salford.
Dr. Ackerley recommends bed owners pull back the covers and open bedroom windows for at least an hour before making their bed, to avoid bacteria settling into the mattress.
The researchers also suggest getting sheets and other bedding professionally cleaned every six months, to get rid of dust mites and other potential allergens. They add that replacing pillows and sheets at least every two years will aid in keeping your bed clean and comfortable.
Those who are looking for new pillows and sheets should strongly consider linen for their next bedding arrangement. According to the bedding experts at CuddleDown, a University of Milan study found that linen sheets help you fall asleep faster while also improving your quality of sleep.
The Dreams study goes on to note several other interesting tidbits related to sleep, such as how disgusting a child’s cute and cuddly teddy bear can actually be. Since such stuffed animals are constantly being dropped on the floor and touched with dirty hands, teddy bears can be exposed to staphylococcus aureus, a dangerous pathogen linked to skin infections, respiratory disease, and food poisoning.
While almost everything noted in the study is quite alarming, bed owners shouldn’t worry too much. A simple cleaning and/or replacement of your mattress, pillows, and sheets will help you sleep tight so the bed bugs don’t bite.