Do you wear the same clothes to bed for more than a week? Take a shower in the morning? How about your sheets — do you like them worn-in and cozy, to the point where they still have the dent of your body hours after you haven’t made it? If you answered with a resounding, defiant “yes!” to any or all of those questions, you might want to rethink your life, because apparently, we (that’s right, we admit it) are a disgusting breed.
See, just because we love the idea of a freshly made bed doesn’t mean we love the process. That’s why people love going to hotels — someone else does it for you. Washing sheets, pillow cases, comforters and duvets regularly is a pain in itself. But then making the bed again? Who has the time?
According to hygiene doctor Lisa Ackerley, you better find the time — otherwise you’re putting yourself at risk of serious viruses and infections.
“Depending upon what your bed is used for, and also how clean you are when you get in it (and indeed whether you wear nightwear), your bed can get pretty filthy and may actually be causing your body harm,” Dr. Ackerley told the Daily Mail.
If your partner is coughing or sniffly, you can catch their cold or flu off the sheets. Athlete’s foot and yeast infections can also be spread. And while we have all kinds of bacteria and fungi on our bodies and are, for the most part, fine, your bed is the perfect breeding ground for them. Think of all the moisture that builds up as we sleep, from sweat, saliva and other gross fluids.
There’s also all the skin and hair we shed for dust mites to thrive on, not to mention the food we eat in bed or the pet that sleeps with us and OMG, excuse us while we go rip the sheets off our bed.
Dr. Ackerley suggests washing bedding once a week in hot temperatures (above 60°C or higher) as it “blitzes everything.”
You should also be switching your sleep clothes every three days and get a separate blanket for your cat or dog to lie on (which should also be washed weekly). If you’re environmentally conscious and trying to conserve water, you likely won’t follow this course of action, but if you’re sick of being sick, or simply horrified by what Ackerley’s pointed out, then you might want to get cleaning.