Believe it or not, the bedroom is an ideal breeding ground for all sorts of diseases. Moisture from human bodies can encourage mold to grow on the walls and ceiling, which may create respiratory diseases or turn into skin fungal infections.
What’s more, dust mites living in unwashed sheets and on grimy surfaces can inspire all sorts of allergic reactions, from a stuffy nose to poor concentration and piercing headaches. On top of this, exceedingly unclean bedrooms may harbor various deadly diseases in pillows, and bedbugs have the potential to transmit more than 45 different pathogens, many of which cause serious health effects.
Though it may not feel like it, you’ll spend at least 25 years of your life in your bedroom — and that is just counting when you’re unconscious. That number increases dramatically if you spend time in your room doing other activities, like watching television, reading, or surfing the Web. When you spend so much time in one place, you probably want that space to contribute to your health, not harm it. That’s why it is so important for you to keep your bedroom crystal clean and organized, every day of the year.
Keep Pets off the Bed
More than half of pet owners say they gladly welcome their pets onto the furniture: More than 56 percent of dog lovers and 62 percent of cat fanciers even fall asleep next to their pets. However, reports suggest that allowing our beloved animals under the covers is inviting an entire menagerie of unwanted pests into the bed. The following deadly diseases have been found to be transmitted to humans by the cuddly creatures dozing nearby:
- Bubonic plague. The disease that killed roughly a third of Europe is still around, and almost half of plague sufferers admit to sleeping with a pet.
- Chagas disease. While this fatal illness is mostly concentrated in South America, it is creeping its way into the United States through domestic animals carrying the “kissing bugs” that spread it.
- MRSA (drug-resistant strep). Most people don’t realize that dogs can unknowingly carry the streptococcal bug in their noses, and those who sleep with their canines are at significantly higher risk for chronic infections of this terrifying strain.
Buy a New Mattress Regularly
After only a few years, your mattress will double in weight due to accumulated dead skin cells, sweat, and dust mites. That doesn’t just sound icky — it can have significant medical impacts, especially on those who suffer from allergies or asthma. In addition to respiratory ailments, old mattresses may also cause muscular-skeletal aches and pains, headaches, and even psychological damage from poor sleep. It is obvious that replacing your mattress at least every 10 years is an absolute must.
Replacing your mattress will increase the greater salubriousness of the bedroom simply by ridding the environment of several pounds of allergens and irritants; however, you can find greater personal health by investing in a mattress that suits your and your partner’s sleep styles. Getting a cheaper Sleep Number bed is perhaps the best option, as it allows for total customization of firmness at a fraction of the name-brand cost.
Clean Mattresses Often
Still, you can prolong the life of your new mattress by regularly cleaning it. Because mattresses are much too large to take to the dry cleaner — let alone stuff into your home washer-dryer — cleaning your mattress requires a specific process for maximum hygiene:
- Vacuum using the upholstery attachment.
- Scrub with baking soda or another deodorizer.
- Vacuum again.
- Remove stains. Different stains require different solvents, so make sure you aren’t setting the stains with the wrong solutions.
Pillows can harbor as many allergens and irritants as mattresses and linens, but symptoms caused by infected pillows can be significantly worse due to their proximity to your eyes, nose, and mouth. Plus, some pillows, like those made of memory foam, contain volatile organic compounds that can cause a wealth of health problems, from migraines to eye inflammation.
For the best results, clean and replace your pillows regularly, and make sure you are sleeping on pillows that don’t contain harsh, deleterious chemicals; most experts recommend natural latex pillows as the best option.