• Are you losing sleep over bedroom hygiene?

    How often should you clean……

    I get asked this question daily and the answer is – it depends – and that applies to bedroom hygiene as well.

    So here are some answers that don’t make the headlines because they are a) boring b) not sexy c) complicated.

    If you want the truth, then read on.

    The hazards

    Dust mites

    In the bedroom, the hazards to your health are mainly to do with dust mites.

    How to dust mites survive and breed?

    Dust mites feed on dust which comprises mainly of skin, so there can be plenty around in the home, as we shed around 1/2 oz each a week. Dust accumulates in nooks and crannies that don’t get cleaned very often (such as behind the bed). Go and look, you will see what I mean! Dust mites thrive in warm, moist conditions where there is lots of skin, and of course, your bedroom is perfect! Places where they can breed and feed are:

    • Carpets
    • Mattresses
    • Duvets
    • Pillows
    • Cuddly toys
    • Cushions
    • Comforters

    If you have an allergy to dust mite poo, then having loads of these creatures in your house is a bad thing. The types of illness they can lead to if you are allergic include:

    • Runny, itchy nose
    • Sneezing
    • Watery eyes
    • Cough
    • Exacerbated asthma attacks
    • All this can lead to lack of sleep, meaning poor productivity at work, school or university

    What should you do to control these pesky pests if you have an allergy? Top tips:

    • If you have an allergy to dust mite poo, then tackle this problem by banishing the dust. This does mean cranking up the cleaning unfortunately, but it would be worth it if you or your family suffer.
    • Vacuum regularly – the more allergic you are, the more you have to do it. You may want to clean every day if it makes a difference to your health – it is up to you! Damp moping wooden floors is a good way to pick up the dust. If you care not allergic, then don’ fret too much. You can wallow in your dirt without much harm coming to you, but visitors may have something to say.
    • Banish carpet – it’s the perfect place for them to build up on all the dust that collects. Wooden floors are better – which will reduce the burden of cleaning.
    • Change your pillows – it is estimated that in two years 10% of the weight is dust mites and dust mite poo! Use pillow protectors to stop them getting in.
    • Clean your duvet – I take mine to the laundry every 6 months at the change of a season
    • Vacuum the mattress when you change your bedding – and use a mattress protector.
    • Don’t make the bed when you get up! Throw the covers back and let the bed air. Open the window for 10 minutes or so to let the moisture out of the room.
    • Wash bedding at 60 degrees C – any lower and you are not getting it clean enough, unless you add a laundry disinfectant (available at most supermarkets)

    How often should I change the bedding?

    • I love clean sheets, but it is quite a job to wash, dry and iron isn’t it? So I would say, it is up to you. How dirty your bed gets depends on:
    • How often are you in the bed?
    • How clean are you when you go to bed (do you have a shower first)?
    • Do you wear pyjamas?
    • Does your cat or dog sleep on the bed?

    So in conclusion, I can’t give you a definitive answer to how often you should change the bed – once a week, once every two weeks would be reasonable, but crank it up if anyone is ill, especially if you share the bed. If you do have a dust mite allergy, or an unexplained constant runny nose or cough, then some bedroom hygiene will be a great investment. Otherwise don’t fret too much about it.


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