Ever paused to ponder the bacteria in your bed? It’s an alarming thought. Read our tips for keeping this to an absolute minimum.
The monsters in your bed
When you think about it, it makes sense. We spend almost a third of our lives in bed. While we sleep, sweat and dead skin cells fall and lodge in our bedding and mattress. Early nights and weekend sleep-ins seem suddenly less inviting.
Dust mites feed off human skin scales. These little critters are about a quarter of a millimeter in size. And they particularly like humid environments. Which makes your bed just perfect.
Not only that, but their bi-products (yes – it is what you’re thinking) continue to cause allergic symptoms even after the mite itself has died. (All the shudders.)
Your bed can become a breeding ground for fungi, mould spores, mites and viruses. Over time left unchecked, this can reach critical mass, causing disturbed sleep patterns, hay fever, headaches, respiratory and dermalogical issues, even depression.*
How to keep your bed healthy
Getting your mattress professionally cleaned from time to time is advisable. But you can also stay on top of things with these simple steps:*
- Cover your mattress, pillow and quilt with dust-mite-resistant protectors and/or toppers. Wash these covers every two months.
- Use a hot-water wash (over 55°C) for your sheets and pillowcases weekly.
- If using a cold wash, add in a couple of drops of essential oils, like lavender, eucalyptus or tea tree oil.
- Hot tumble dry for half an hour (after they’re dry) to kill dust mites.
- Wash blankets, quilts and doonas every two months. Give your children’s soft toys a wash at the same time.
- Wash rugs regularly and dry them in full sun (where possible)
- Vacuum your mattress weekly, giving particular attention to the seams.
So what do you think? It’s eye opening to say the least, isn’t it? In the spring-cleaning spirit? Download our spring-cleaning checklist here.
*As stated in the VIC government Better Health website. For more info, see here.
Concerned you or your family might suffer from an allergy to dust mites? Read more about it here on the Sydney Children’s Hospital Network or visit your GP.