Nutrition and Healing

Dr. Glenn Rothfeld’s Nutrition & Healing is intended to provide cutting-edge health information.
Nothing on this site should be interpreted as personal medical advice. Always consult with your doctor before changing anything related to your healthcare.

What’s in your bed is the stuff of nightmares

Your bedroom is your sanctuary.

It’s where all your troubles drift away at the end of the day — a safe haven from the craziness of the world and all the stresses that everyday life can bring.

Where you lay your head to rest should be a place of wishes on stars, bedtime prayers, and sweet dreams.

But according to a recent report, there’s something lurking in your bedroom that might scare you right out of your PJs.

According to a recent CNN article, you’re not alone in your bed. There are countless bacteria, fungi, and allergens that are camping out with you… and they could be making you sick.

The most common critter that takes up residence in your mattress, bedding, and pillows is something called a dust mite. This creepy-crawly won’t bite you, but it could cause an allergic reaction.

If you find yourself sneezing every time you go to bed, it’s probably because it’s FULL of excrement from dust mites — which is found in at least one bed in 80 percent of all U.S. homes.

And these critters aren’t the only scary things that are skulking beneath your sheets.

A Purdue University professor who studies beds for a living (how’s that for a job?) found a collective 47 species of fungi in 10 pillows that had been used for up to 20 years.

That’s enough to not only disgust you, but also to put your health at risk. Respiratory issues — especially asthma and sinusitis — can often be traced back to exposure to a fungus.

You could even be infecting your own bed with bacteria like strep and staph, which move from your skin to your sheets every year via GALLONS of sweat.

And that’s just if you sleep alone! Imagine combining that with your spouse… and maybe even your pets, who most certainly do NOT wipe their feet before jumping into bed with you.

Now, you can’t control what happens while you’re asleep, but there’s plenty you can do while you’re awake to keep your bedroom from becoming a dungeon of disease.

Wash your sheets weekly — even if they don’t seem dirty — and wash them in hot water. Don’t forget your pillowcases, mattress covers, duvets, quilts, blankets, and comforters.

That should kill off most of your uninvited guests. To catch the ones that may have scattered while you were stripping the bed, an air purifier with a true HEPA filter can help.

You should also vacuum the area thoroughly — including your bare mattress and pillows.

But, at some point, you’re going to have to let them go. You may get a good 10 years out of your mattress and a few months to a year out of your pillows, but after that, they should be replaced.

Ever wonder why your pillow seems to get heavier over time? It’s because it’s FULL of dust mites. (And, apparently, their poop.)

How your bed may be making you sick

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