Next Enrollment Deadline: May 03, 2024 For More Information Call 800-542-1553 Now.

Your Bed Is Filled With More Germs Than You Think

September 19, 2016
Read All News
Your bed may be the comfiest place in the house, but do you know what is hiding in your sheets? The answer will keep you up at night. According to Brendan Boor, an assistant professor at Purdue University’s College of Engineering, your bed is swarming with allergens, bacteria and fungi. Every time you move in your sleep, germs are lifted from the bed into the air. “The more intense your movement is – so if you rotate from your back, your stomach, to your back again – the more dust you’re going to be exposed to,” he said. Boor should know, he studies beds for a living. But what specifically is infesting your bed? The American Lung Association says that four out of five homes in the United States are overrun with dust mites. Dust mites are tiny pests, similar to insects, who feed on your dead skin cells. They are commonly found in bedding, mattresses, furniture, carpets and curtains. The dust mite itself is not the threat, but its feces and body fragments can cause allergic reactions and asthma attacks. According to Boor, this is what we inhale in our sleep. “You’re breathing in their fecal matter or their body parts… Yup, it’s disgusting,” Boor added. In serious cases, dust mites can result in chronic sneezing, congestion and facial pressure. If you are not allergic or asthmatic, its pellets may still cause mild irritation, similar to how “pepper would if it blows into your nose and eyes.” Mold and fungi are also commonly found in the average bed. In a study done by the University of Manchester, researchers analyzed 10 regularly used pillows and found 47 fungi species living inside. The human eye cannot see the mold; the contaminants are tinier than your hair’s diameter. Another factor to consider is your body’s sweat. The human body sweats up to 26 gallons a year, and can infect others through it. An American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology fellow, Dr. William Berger, agrees. “You can have strep or staph on your skin, and that could infect you or your partner,” Berger said. If your skin is crawling, you may be wondering how to rid your bed of pests. Boor offers multiple solutions to killing bacteria, allergens and fungi. “One thing you can do that’s quite practical is to vacuum your mattress, perhaps daily, weekly [or] bi-weekly,” Boor said, “The second is using an allergen-impermeable mattress cover, the third is frequent washing of your bedding… and the fourth is using a portable air cleaner.” The American Lung Association also offers recommendations for removing dust mites in particular. Dust mites thrive in humidity, so experts suggest reducing the humidity in your home by using air conditioning and dehumidifiers. It is also recommended to use a damp mop or cloth while cleaning, to prevent more dust from being kicked up into the air. Your bed should feel safe, not scary. By washing your sheets and vacuuming regularly, you can significantly reduce the risk of bacteria and allergens. Let yourself shift in your sleep in peace.
Apply Now Request More Info