05 Oct How often you should wash your bed sheets, according to a microbiologist — and what happens when you don’t
As a person who looks very closely at people who suffer from Asthma and Sleep disorders this article got my attention. Sometimes, people can find triggers anywhere, but the last place they search is in their own beds.
The microbiologist Philip Tierno told to the magazine Bussiness Insider that as we spend more than a third of our lives in bed, it can quickly blossom into a “botanical park” of bacteria and fungus and if left for too long, the microscopic life within the folds of our bed sheets can even make us sick.
He also supports his affirmation on one investigation done in US which evaluated the main bedroom allergen exposures in households after testing thousands of American homes. The researchers found that more than 90% of them had at least three detectable allergens. Bedrooms are often considered an important site for allergen exposure not only because of the time spent in bed but also because of the close proximity of allergen reservoirs (eg, bedding) to a person’s breathing zone and associated reservoir disturbances1.
To stem the invisible tide, he said, sheets should be washed once a week.
When these allergens lurk in places where your mouth and nose nestle right up to them, they can trigger sniffing and sneezing regardless of whether you have a known allergy or not.
“Even if you don’t have allergies per se, you can have an allergic response,” Tierno said.
Another reason so many of these microbes can lurk in our beds is that we keep them warm and moist simply by sleeping in them. Humans naturally produce some 26 gallons of sweat between our sheets every year. When it’s hot and humid, this moisture becomes what scientists call an “ideal fungal culture medium;” our pillows alone can house as many as 16 species of fungus each.
In addition to the fungi and bacteria that come from human sources, beds also teem with foreign microbes like animal dander, pollen, soil, lint, dust mite debris and faeces. They can also contain remnants of the finishing agents used to produce sheets.
That entire gunk can become what Tierno calls “significant” in as little as a week. So he recommends doing yourself a favour and washing your sheets.
Read the original article on Business Insider. Julia Calderone., Brodwin Erin. How often you should wash your bed sheets, according to a microbiologist — and what happens when you don’t. Available on: http://uk.businessinsider.com/how-often-to-wash-bed-sheets-2017-6?r=US&IR=T#VZX41MXStdTMZoOH.99
- Bedroom allergen exposures in US households. Salo, Päivi M. et al. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology , Volume 141 , Issue 5 , 1870 – 1879.e14.
- Also available on: https://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/how-often-you-should-wash-your-bed-sheets-according-to-a-microbiologist-and-what-happens-when-you-dont-1/