Using the same bedsheets for four weeks leaves you sleeping in a whole host of nasty bacteria associated with infections such as gonorrhoea or meningitis, according to a new study.
Bedding store Time4Sleepconducted some research (opens in new tab), where 24 per cent of Brits admitted they’d wait a month before changing their sheets. This research inspired them to find out just how unhygienic four-week-old bedsheets really are.
Using a volunteer and instructing them to sleep for 28 nights straight without washing or changing the bedsheets, pillowcases or duvet cover, they were able to uncover the truth.
Turns out, it’s bad.
There’s some real danger attached to unwashed bedsheets, with researchers finding bacteroidales that are common in appendicitis and pneumonia, fusobacteriales associated with skin ulcers and periodontal diseases, and nisseriales which can cause both gonorrhoea and meningitis. That's a terrifying thought.
Below are samples taken between week 1 and week 4:
Aside from this, the dirtier the sheet, the more likely you are to attract mites and bed bugs.
Luis, a researcher from the Biology Development Centre, said: "It has been determined that the microbial ecology of the pillowcase and sheets came from human skin, oral cavity, and stool."
He added: “Our findings comparefavourably withthe North Carolina State Universitypaper published last year, whichestablished a comparison between the microbial composition of human and primate beds. Strikingly, based on this study, chimpanzee beds show less diversity of microorganism than those that can be identifiedin human beds.”
Your bedsheets, duvet and pillows come into contact with your skin for around eight hours every day. They absorb the bacteria we excrete or pick up throughout our lives, meaning it can have a serious impact on our overall health.
So what can we do to prevent this? Experts recommend washing your bedding every week if possible, but pushing it up to two weeks is also okay. Any longer than that leaves you open to this bacteria.
Frequent washing can improve your overall health and wellbeing, with this study being a frightening insight into what’s really going on under the covers.
We all agree that getting under clean sheets is a lovely feeling, and this study should give you an incentive to do that way more often.
Lucy Buglass is a Digital Writer specialising in TV, film and lifestyle content and has written for What's On TV, GoodtoKnow and Whattowatch.com. She's passionate about entertainment and spends most of her free time watching Netflix series, BBC dramas, or going to the cinema to catch the latest film releases. In her spare time, she writes film and television reviews for JumpCut Online and her own blog, Lucy Goes To Hollywood.
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