It can been very tempting to skip laundry day. And washing your bed linen especially, can be such a chore.
Surely missing a the weekly wash isn’t all that bad? Wrong.
Her findings will make your skin crawl.
‘Think of all the things you do in bed,’ said Dr Ackerley. ‘Apart from being the place where we go to sleep, it can double up as the home office, the tea room, the dining table or even your dog or cat’s bed,’ she said.
‘Depending upon what your bed is used for, and also how clean you are when you get in it (and indeed whether you wear nightwear), your bed can get pretty filthy and may actually be causing your body harm.’
Dr Ackerley points out that we have all sorts of bacteria and fungi on our bodies. That’s perfectly well and good but in the bed environment that is damp and warm, these things breed and fester.
One bacteria that can spread in our linen is Staphylococcus aureus. This bacterium can cause skin and wound infections, urinary tract infections, pneumonia and bacteraemia (blood stream infection) if it enters the body in some way.
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Basically this nasty germ builds up on sheets if you don’t wash them regularly and cause infections, especially if you have a cut or nick on your skin surface.
Yeast infections are another possibility for those who don’t launder their linen regularly enough. We all know yeast can cause problems in folds of skin where there is moisture, especially in the nether regions. Sheets harbour yeasts so unless they are washed at high temperatures often, the chances of infection are high.
Then there is the dust mites. These little fellas munch their way through dead skin and while they don’t carry diseases they can cause allergies to flare up for some.
Humans shed around 10g of dead skin cells each day. Gross. This gives lots of feed to these dust mites. They then poo, releasing an enzyme that triggers allergies.
These allergies can lead to conditions such as asthma, and rhinitis – a constant blocked, itchy, runny or sneezy nose.
Dust mites collect in the bedding where they can eat and breed. It is estimated 10 per cent of the weight of a two-year old pillow may be composed of dust mites and their droppings. GROSS!
In order to prevent against all the potential nasties, experts recommend washing sheets at above 60 degrees, shower before bed, use pillow and mattress protectors and vacuum around and under the bed regularly.
And of course, sheets should be laundered weekly or at least fortnightly.