Dr Amir gives sleep advice for clock change
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A third of Britons wash their bedding only once a year, according to a 2020 server by Hammond Furniture. Various studies have proven that mattresses take little time to become a source of pathogens, even when covered with bedding. According to experts, this can set the stage for several deadly conditions.
While cleaning sheets infrequently raises questions about a person’s hygiene, it can also become a health hazard.
Some studies have linked dirty bedding to the development of severe diseases like pneumonia, appendicitis and gonorrhoea.
According to sleep experts at Bed Kingdom, the body excretes fluids and oils each night during sleep, along with thousands of dead skin cells.
This attracts dust mites which excrete faecal matter linked to allergy, asthma, rhinitis and eczema flare-ups.
This is why several health factors warrant more frequent washing of bed sheets, like asthma or being ill.
“Changing bed sheets daily is recommended for people who are ill,” explains Bed Kingdom.
It adds that the faecal matter and dead bodies of dust mites can cause severe allergic reactions in some people.
“Symptoms may include coughing, sneezing, skin rashes, itchy eyes and a runny nose. Dust mites are also a very common trigger for asthma sufferers.
“It is therefore beneficial to your comfort and health if bedding is washed more frequently.”
Cleveland Clinic dermatologist Alok Via explained that there are more bacterial organisms in our bodies than our own cells.
“When you let the dead skin cells rest in your sheets, those bacteria can thrive. If they get back onto your skin it can lead to folliculitis,” said the expert.
Aside from irritation, the transmission of infections has also been proven possible through soiled linen.
Staphylococcus aureus is among the more dangerous bacteria because it is more contagious than other kinds.
It is also intimately linked with severe health conditions like pneumonia.
Appendicitis is also a risk when bacteria or parasites enter the digestive tract.
It may happen when the tube that joins your large intestine and appendix is blocked or trapped by stool, explains Johns Hopkins Medicine.
If the appendix bursts, it can lead to “serious and deadly infections”.
To avoid letting bed sheets become a vehicle of transmission, experts at Bed Kingdom recommend allocating time to washing your bedding at least once a week.
A spokesperson for the Bed Kingdom said: “Washing bedding can be seen as a hassle and chore for many of us.
“As with any chore, it can be easy to procrastinate and leave it to the last minute, but the potential effects on your health are a great reason to dedicate the time.
“Sticking to a schedule of stripping the bed in the morning is useful to keep on top of your wasting as you will be rewarded with clean sheets the next time you get into bed.
“If you can dry your sheets in the sunlight, this will save you money on tumble dryer costs as well as killing germs further.”
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