21 October 2005

Sleeping With The Enemies

Sleep is supposed to be a peaceful break from all the stressful events we face daily. Unknown to most of us, however, is the fact that everytime we lie down and drift to dreamland, thousands of 'enemies' roam around our face, our arms, and bodies, feeding on our dead skin cells and imbibing whatever sweat comes out of our pores.

For those with asthma, 'ever notice if your attacks always coincide when you're lying down on your bed? Here's a clue about the usual suspects.

So bad is the situation that a news report describes your bed as a virtual ecosystem. Yes people, your bed is a forest of creatures you do not see....and I'm not talking of imaginary monsters, ok?

What "forest of creatures" am I talking about?
Most beds are home to thousands of microscopic dust mites, which produce so much excrement they can add a pound or two of weight to your mattress every year, by some estimates. Humans feed the mites by shedding dead skin, and add water from about 100 litres of sweat a year, says Ashley Woodcock, a researcher at the University of Manchester in England.

"We really thought it was the kind of stuff you find on a bathroom wall in a damp house. To find it in the bed you sleep in is really a surprise," said Dr. Woodcock, whose findings are to be published this week in the journal Allergy.

He and his colleagues found up to 16 species of fungi, including types normally found in bread and bathrooms, and a more worrisome species called Aspergillus fumigatus, which is the leading cause of death from infection in patients with leukemia and bone-marrow transplants. [Globe and Mail, Oct 20 2005]


Your bed might be as dirty --- perhaps dirtier --- than your bathroom. This emphasizes the need to replace bedsheets and pillowcases more often than monthly or yearly. This is something we overlook, and before you say ignorance is bliss, I think you ought to do something about it.

7 reactions:

Toni said...

It'd also help to have your mattresses vacuumed professionally!

rolly said...

I've seen this at the discovery channel, too, doc. What about cheese. I think it's also teeming with micro-organisms. The difference, I suppose, is that these are not harmful.

watson said...

I think I need to run home now and change my bedsheets ... :-)

beajerry said...

It's a party every night with old friends!

Dr E said...

Sleeping will never be the same again. *LOL*

jeff said...

Oh My GOD... i haven't changed my comforter for the past err.. year?! time to get a new one!

Kim said...

Gee, was it good for me?


Yuck, what a disturbing fact, I'm washing my sheets and getting a new mattress...ugh...