Do you consider your bed a safe haven of rest and calm? Do you sink into a mattress after a hard day's work and feel tension and stress drain away as you rest your weary head on a soft pillow? Well, you might not feel so relaxed if you knew thatmicroscopicpestswerelurkingthere! It seems that beds may not be such a good place for ourwell-being– they could actually be making us ill!
We spend more than a third of our lives in bed - but that place can quickly blossom into a “botanical park” of bacteria and fungus ， according to New York University microbiologist Philip Tierno。
Recent studies have shown that bacteria, fungi and dust mites, some smaller than the diameter of a hair, live in our bedding. When we move around in our sleep, we disturb them and they are propelled into the air – which we then breathe in as we sleep. According to the American Lung Association, four out of five households in the United States now have high levels of dust mites, although it's not the mites themselves that cause the problems, but their droppings. These are "highly allergenic" according to Dr William Berger, a fellow with the American Academy of Allergy,Asthma and Immunology. "Even if you aren't allergic… they can still irritate you, the way pepper would if it blew into your nose and eyes."
If left for too long， the microscopic life within the wrinkles and folds of our bed sheets can even make us sick， Tierno said。
Brendan Boor, Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering, who carries out bed research, also found that bed dust in the air 威尼斯手机娱乐官网 ，triggers allergies – causing watery eyes, sneezing, coughs and asthma. He has recommended ways to limit our exposure to these unsavoury allergens:
To stem the invisible tide， he said sheets should be washed once a week。
Firstly, he suggests vacuuming your mattress regularly – weekly, or even daily. He also recommends doing away with carpets and washing floors. Using allergen-proof bed covers, he says, can reduce the risk of getting allergies. In addition, washing bedding and pillows frequently can help, as can a portable air cleaner placed near the bed.
Humans produce roughly 26 gallons of sweat in bed every year。 When it‘s hot and humid outside， this moisture becomes what scientists call an “ideal fungal culture medium。”
If you do as Brendan Boor suggests, you will breathe in cleaner air as you sleep… or will you? Is it really safe for you to go back in your bed…?
In a recent study that assessed the level of fungal contamination in bedding， researchers found that pillows between 1.5 and 20 years old can contain between four and 17 different species of fungus。
And it‘s not just your own microbial life you’re sleeping with。 In addition to the fungi and bacteria that come from your sweat and skin cells， you also share your bed with foreign microbes。
These include animal dander， pollen， soil， lint and dust mite， to name a few。