The best part about work from home (WFH) has been getting to work in your shorts or jams. There are literally only a few reasons why you need to dress up and endure sitting in a cold room for eight hours a day.
In fact, for most of us, WFH has largely been about working on our laptops without having to leave the bed.
While this is great and definitely something most people will enjoy, it also makes your bed a magnet for all kinds of dust and bacteria. Now imagine you are sleeping, eating, working and lazing in that same space every day for hours together.
Ideally, experts recommend that you wash your bedsheets at least once a week. But how many of us actually follow this? If there aren’t any visible stains, you are likely to tuck the covers and voila, it looks as good as new.
But the truth couldn’t be farther.
Dirty bedsheets are health hazards and just because it’s a tedious task, it does not mean that you skip the chore. But if you have been doing that, you have been exposing yourself to some yucky side effects.
Here are five reasons why dirty bedsheets are health hazards to you and your loved ones.
Bedsheets Are Health Hazards When Left Unwashed For Days
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1. Breeding Ground For Bacteria
Your bed and the bedsheet is a breeding ground for bacteria without you even realising it.
Every time you lie down on the bedsheet, you transfer all the germs from your body on to sheets and pillowcase. It then becomes a hub of dead skin, body oil, dust, muck, and so much more.
This allows bacteria to breed and within no time, your bed is a breeding ground that’s not even visible to the naked eye.
Gram-negative rods are one of the most commonly isolated bacteria on soiled sheets. These can cause pneumonia and antibiotic-resistant infections. You may also find traces of bacilli, which is responsible for certain types of food poisoning.
Breakfast in bed? No please!
2. Will Flare Up Your Acne
One of the more common health hazards to come from soiled bedsheets is acne. If you tend to hit the sack without removing your makeup before you sleep, you are only inviting more trouble for your skin.
The makeup particles collect in your pillow case and the accumulated bacteria will go right back on your face.
The result is whiteheads, blackheads, and worsening any allergies that you already have. This is equally bad for those who have skin conditions like eczema as a dirty bedsheet will only aggravate the problem.
Even if you don’t wear makeup, you still end up depositing skin oil on your bed that can cause infections.
Make it a point to change your pillow cases frequently along with the bed sheet.
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3. Bacterial Infections
If you sweat heavily, especially while sleeping, your bed becomes a giant sponge that absorbs all your bodily impurities. However, sweating can also let fungi grow on certain occasions.
Cladosporium is a type of mould that usually grows on damp mattresses and can lead to asthma, pneumonia, and Onychomycosis fungal infection. This can cause skin lesions and crumbling toenails.
Even your intimate regions like genitals, inner thighs, and buttocks can get fungal infection that will further cause irritation.
4. Dust Mites
Barely visible to the naked eye, dust mites are part of the spider family and feed on flakes of skin that you shed when you sleep. And a soiled bedsheet is a part place to find plenty of dead skin.
Experts suggest that a bed would normally have about 1.5 million dust mites on every night if the bed isn’t regularly cleaned.
These mites can leave welts on your neck, face, arms and upper body. They are also extremely harmful if you have preexisting breathing issues.
The longer you leave your bedsheets unwashed, the harder it will be to get rid of dust mites. Do remember, a bad space will also attract bed bugs and those pesky creatures get nearly impossible to remove.
Moreover, they feast on your blood while colonising the entire mattress.
It will take extreme heat and unpleasant smells to drive them away. Therefore, burning the mattress and getting a new one will feel like a perfectly reasonable thing to do.
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5. Worst For Allergies
No surprises here, bacteria and dust are the dirty duo when it comes to triggering allergies in people. So if you have preexisting issues, you are only aggravating your condition by sleeping on a soiled bedsheet.
This is particularly true for those allergic to dust, mites, mould and mildew. Even if you aren’t, odds are you will develop health complications and have a weakened immune system due to infections.
Always remember to check the care label that comes with the bed sheet to wash the same regularly. Also make it a point to vacuum the mattress every time you change the bed sheet to remove the dust from the same. Try and wash your bed sheets in warm water to further clean and disinfect them.
If you are allergic to dust, look out for hypoallergenic bedsheets made out of special materials that further minimise attracting dust to the bed.
These are health hazards that are easily avoidable as long as you keep changing your bed sheets every week.
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