Human beings are pretty disgusting creatures, and the proof is in the number of germs we invite into our beds through our normal, everyday routines. Yes, there are certain habits that are making your bed germy that you would never expect, and what you might think is "normal" — like eating breakfast in bed — is actually turning your bed into a breeding ground for dust mites and bacteria. There's no real way to escape germs — unless you voluntarily move into a sterile room, constantly clean it to retain its sterile-ness, and then avoid contact with other people forever and ever. While the latter part of that sounds kind of amazing, the former sounds like a lot of work, and the concept as a whole is not even remotely realistic.
So, knowing that you're stuck cohabiting with icky microbes for the rest of your life, you should know how to keep those interactions to a minimum — because an excess of germs and bacteria can cause all kinds of health problems, all of which are easy to avoid if you keep things tidy. And your health should always be priority number one, don't you think? The minimal effort required to clean your bedroom is a small price to pay for staying healthy. Here are all the habits that are germing up your sacred sleep space.
1. Not Washing Your Sheets
This one is obvious, but it's definitely the most important. The Daily Mail UK spoke to home hygiene expert Dr. Lisa Ackerley. "Humans shed half an ounce of skin per week and half of that will be in the bed," she said. Enter dust mites and their shockingly efficient breeding habits and then two years later, "10 percent of the weight of a pillow will be made up of dust mites and their droppings," says Dr. Ackerley. Does that terrify you? Because it should. Wash those sheets regularly to keep these monsters away.
2. Eating In Bed
Sure, breakfast in bed is a romantic gesture, but it comes with a hefty price. Any crumbs left behind can create bacteria, and attract bed bugs. Ick.
3. Not Washing Your Pjs
Along the same line as keeping your sheets clean, you should keep your sleep and loungewear clean. Anytime you sweat while you sleep, you're creating a moist paradise for dust mites and other bacteria to grow and spread. So if you wear the same clothes several nights in a row without cleaning them, you're making that bacteria party a whole lot bigger.
4. Allowing Pets On The Bed
There's nothing quite as comforting as falling asleep next to your favorite furry friend in bed. Unfortunately, their dirty paws, possible fleas, and the potential (yet somewhat rare) spread of infection can make you sick just by snuggling with your pet.
5. Not Washing Your Hands
Picture this: You crawl into bed. You're tired, so you rub your eyes. Your pet hops up next to you, so you pet them. You cough, by putting that same hand over your mouth. You pull up the blankets around your chin. You rub your eyes again before falling asleep. You didn't wash your hands at all during that scenario, and you spread tons of germs around your face and bed. It's not realistic to wash your hands constantly, but combine the lack of hand-washing with pets on the bed, dirty pjs, and unwashed sheets and you are practically begging to get sick.
6. Putting Your Purse On The Bed
Your purse goes everywhere with you. And wherever you end up, you probably put your purse down once you arrive. This means the bottom of our bag is touching dirty floors, horrifically nasty sidewalks, unwashed table tops, and then your bed. GAH. Keep the bag away from your sleep space, forever.
7. Not Vacuuming The Carpet Regularly
Unless you've come up with an innovative way to keep your feet in a separate area from your bed, then you're probably crawling into bed like a normal person, and putting your tootsies between the sheets. But if you're not mopping the floor or vacuuming the carpet, whatever lives on that surface will come with you to bed, via your feet. So keep the floors clean, and your feet will be, too!
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