How clean is your bed? If you’re one of the people surveyed by bed company MattressNextDay, then probably not very.
The mattress folks chatted to more than 1,000 Brits about their gross bed habits – and some of the findings are pretty shocking.
They found that one in 14 Brits pick their feet’s dead skin in bed, attracting dust mites which can cause rashes, asthma and more.
More than one in 10 Brits cut their toenails in bed, while almost one in 10 people wash the bedsheets they’ve slept in whilst ill with other items, increasing the chances of the infection being passed on.
Other bad behaviours include (14%) leaving a wet towel on the bed, (9%) sleeping in the clothes they’ve worn outside, and (14%) eating in bed.
But all that isn’t great for your health and could leave you with dust mites, rashes and fungal infections.
Dr Deborah Lee of the online pharmacy, Dr Fox, revealed the health risks of poor bedroom hygiene and why the bed should only be for sleeping and other related activities.
A total of 7% of the adults surveyed said they’ve treated the dead skin from their feet in bed. But there’s a problem with that, as dust mites love dead skin.
According to Dr Lee, “we shed 30,000 to 40,000 dead skin cells every year, and that’s without physically exfoliating. This is 9 pounds – or 4kg of skin – per year.”
This is in addition to any dirt, sweat and grease that has built up on your skin all day. By adding to that and treating your feet in bed, you are feeding those dust mites that love dead skin cells.
“House dust mites, and bed bugs, feed on dead skin cells. They then produce droppings which are very irritant to the skin, and are a common cause of allergy, resulting in skin rashes, eczema, and asthma,” she says.
The researchers discovered that 11% of Brits are cutting their nails in bed. Dr Lee advises: “If you don’t want yellow toenails, don’t cut your toenails in bed. Fungal infections thrive in warm, moist environments – such as the bed.”
One of the top 10 pet peeves in the bedroom is crumbs in the bed, so it comes as a surprise that one in seven (13%) eat their takeaways in bed. However, pizza boxes, leftover takeaway chicken and the like can attract flies, ants or even cockroaches.
Dr Lee says that “there’s a tendency to leave dirty dishes or food containers lying around the bedroom floor. These again attract unwanted visitors.” It’s also recommended that you change your bedding once a week. So, if you are eating in bed, “that will need to increase to twice a week if you eat in bed to avoid those pesky critters”.
Additionally, Dr Lee states that “sweating, coughing, blowing your nose, sickness or diarrhoea – whatever the illness – if you are hopping in and out of bed, your sheets, pillows and duvet cover will be covered with bacteria, viruses, and cell debris. This is a breeding ground for further infections.”
She goes further to say that bedding “should be washed at the highest temperature possible. This should be at least 60°C or above, especially if you have been infected with Covid-19.”
Dr Lee also highlights the importance of getting changed before bed, stating: “When you sleep, the temperature in the bed increases, making this an ideal breeding ground for whatever is on your clothes. Sleeping in a clean pair of PJs is definitely recommended.”
To avoid all of that, just make sure you and your bed are clean. You’ll have a much better sleep for it.