You know that feeling you get when you've just bathed, put on some clean pajamas, and are sliding into a set of fresh sheets? You look around your room and everything is in order and shiny. Having a clean room affects your health, sure, but it's so much ore than that — it's practically orgasmic and heavenly and totally spiritual. If I could make my own religion, it would be called Fresh Sheets and we'd meet in the laundromat for services and wear numbered sheep around our necks. And as it turns out, fresh sheets, the real laundry item, not the religion, in addition to an otherwise clean room, are hugely impactful on not only your sleep, but your health.
Most people our age regard our sheets as the one item of laundry you can neglect the longest. On average, the people I know wash their sheets every one to four months — that is, unless they become visibly *irty. This is mostly due to the fact that washing your sheets is highly annoying and putting them back on the bed is akin to torture. And as for cleaning your bedroom: that's like a once or twice a year kind of occurrence. Most of us see cleaning our room as a huge undertaking — dusting, mopping, vacuuming, wiping down surfaces. It's a lot. It's too much!
But as it turns out, having a dirty room can actually be a contributing factor to health and sleep issues. Your room might be the last place you'd be drawn to look for trouble, which is probably why it often goes undetected for too long. These are five ways your bedroom's messiness is unconsciously affecting you (DUN DUN DUN!):
Your Bedding Attracts Dust Mites
You lose about a million skin cells a day. Don't worry, they're dead, you don't need them. But think about how many dead skin cells you lose when you sleep. They get embedded in into your bedding and pile up, all invisible to the naked eye. But you know who can see them? Dust mites. It's their favorite snack, like cookies for Santa, you're just asking for them to join you in an interruptive sleep — causing potential allergic reactions like watery eyes, itching, and sneezing.
Your Bedding And Towels House Bacteria
You know how your face is kind of oily when you wake up in the morning? Well a lot of that oil has already transferred onto your pillow case and seeped into the fabric of your pillow. That, along with traces of sweat, become fantastic hosts to bacteria. And that towel you keep using over and over again because it still smells fresh? Filthy. The longer you go without washing them, the more opportunity that bacteria has to build up and affect you, be it in the form of skin irritations, allergies, or sickness.
Your Room Stinks
You know how people say that lavender can be a calming scent that can help you fall asleep? Well, the opposite of that is a dirty smell that actually keeps you awake. Your stinky room is actually distracting you from falling asleep. If you throw a scented fabric softener in with your laundry or put a few drops of lavender essential oil on your pillow, or hit the room with a spritz of room spray, you have a much better chance of falling asleep quickly. And make sure you keep your dirty laundry in a laundry bag, closed. If your room still isn't smelling fresh, you might want to crack a window and get a fan going.
Your Mess Attracts Bugs
The mix of late night cookie crumbs and bodily secretions act as hostesses to the greatest bug party on the block. Whether you end up with creepy bugs like cockroaches and ants, or itchy bugs that are too small to see but fierce enough to leave a mark, your stinky, crummy sheets, dirty bed clothes and cheese-puff dusted laptop keys are begging for the attendance of the whole Bug's Life cast.
It Affects Your Mentality
Just knowing that your your room is crawling with filth can be consciously distracting for some. But even more obviously, that religious clean room experience is instantly calming and excessively comforting. Having a dirty room might be indicative of your busy work schedule and jumbled priorities. Be the person who has time to clean their room, that person gets a better night's sleep.
And lastly, further proof that clean sheets change lives:
Sleep safe, everyone.