Health / 16.03.2018

World Sleep Day: 7 bed hygiene blunders

By Hattie Parish
Are you guilty of any of these?

You know that wonderful feeling of drifting into a blissful sleep between clean, crisp bed sheets? Well, apparently, not many of us do. New research from Dreams dishes the dirt on our bed hygiene habits, and it makes for some pretty shameful reading. Make sure you’re not one of the dirty bed dwellers making these mistakes:

1 Short change
Over half of us (52 per cent) know that we should be changing the bed weekly as recommended, yet shockingly almost 70 per cent don’t do this. The dirtiest regions? Hands up Northern Ireland and Yorkshire & Humber – you change the sheets the least often.

2 The dirty work
Over two-thirds of people questioned in the survey didn’t know that dirty bedding could cause allergic reactions, illness, infections and spread viruses. Plus, less than a third of us religiously take a shower every night before turning in (29 per cent), with a quarter opting to sleep naked at night.

3 Mattress munchies
Fess up, those of you who have the munchies and make a mess in their bed – all 57 per cent of us! Chocolate is the preferred bedtime snack with a quarter admitting to sneaking a bar of chocolate or two in bed and a fifth will also leave a trail of toast crumbs regularly.

4 Furry friends
But we’re not the only cause of bacteria in the bed – almost three-fifths let their pets sleep on their bed, adding to the dangers of what could be lurking in the bedding, with over a quarter of us letting our furry friend in every night!

5 Peculiar priorities
Even though we take to our beds every evening, 68 per cent clean surfaces and their kitchen more often than their bedding, whilst 62 per cent clean the bathroom and another 62 per cent do the hoovering more often than changing the bed!

6 The heat is… off
With 60 degrees being the optimum temperature at which to kill dangerous bacteria, it’s surprising that over two-thirds (67 per cent) don’t wash at this temperature. In fact, over half load up the machine for a 30 or 40 degree wash, which is considered the norm (57 per cent).

7 Forgetting the extra mile
Bed linen aside, quite a few of us have never thoroughly washed the rest of our bedding, with 37 per cent never cleaning their mattress, 30 per cent failing to freshen up their pillows and 24 per cent declining to dry clean the duvet. In fact, a quarter owned up to not replacing pillows after three years, while a fifth fail to swap their duvets. Twenty-two per cent admitted to not buying a new mattress after the recommended eight years, and a tenth of us have never replaced the mattress!

Lisa Bond, marketing director at Dreams, says: Most people would be rather surprised by the things you can find in an old mattress. Mould spores and bacteria build up over the years and although invisible, you could be breathing in these harmful spores at night. With 37 per cent of people admitting to never cleaning their mattress, we recommend you replace your mattress every eight years to ensure it remains in top condition.’

Ensure a tip-top sleep by avoiding these other bedtime pitfalls, and check out the best foods for a stress-free slumber.

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World Sleep Day: 7 bed hygiene blunders
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World Sleep Day: 7 bed hygiene blunders
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New research shows our bed hygiene habits are shameful - make sure you're not making these bed hygiene mistakes.
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Healthy Magazine
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