Originally published May 14 2015
Sick bed syndrome: Are dust mites and germs causing your medical symptoms?
by P.A. Watson
(NaturalNews) Nighty-night, don't let the dust mites bite... all ten million of them.
If you're like most people, the bed is a sacred place. It's a spot to relax, unwind, regenerate, dream and engage in procreation activities. However, according to home hygiene expert Dr. Lisa Ackerley, you are not the only one who is enjoying your bed, and this fact is probably making you sick.
It's called sick bed syndrome, and it is caused by the millions of dust mites that are found in the average bed. These mites don't cause you any specific harm directly, but their droppings and body fragments can cause colds and exacerbate existing conditions like asthma and hay fever. Since they enjoy warm, moist environments, the bed is the perfect spot because insulated homes tend to have no drafts and higher humidity.
These dust mites also reproduce, and it is estimated that there will eventually be about ten million of them per bed. In two years, 10 percent of your pillow weight will be made up of dust mites and their droppings. This can lead to eczema, hay fever, rhinitis, coughs, dry eyes and disturbed sleep. It has also been estimated that dust mites could be a factor in up to 80 percent of allergy cases.
How can you slow down and get rid of these nasty mites and their feces?
Dr. Ackerley says that if you want to stop dust mites from colonizing the bed, a regular vacuuming is important. Fewer mites will survive in areas with hard wood flooring as opposed to carpet. When it comes to killing them off, it turns out that regular machine washing is not the gold standard. One out of four items that are machine-washed at 40 degrees Celsius contain traces of bacteria linked to feces, and washed laundry contains only 14 percent less bacteria than the unwashed laundry.
As a result, a regular machine washing of bedding at 60 degrees Celsius is the best bet to help kill off these little critters. If your washer doesn't reach that temperature, consider a laundry disinfectant. People in alpine areas used to hang their bedding out the window; this was a good practice because the cold air would also kill off the dust mites.
Just when you thought that dust mites might be your only concern lurking in your sheets, it turns out that mattresses can also become a breeding ground for other microorganisms that can trigger a range of illnesses. If people have the cold or flu, it can survive in the bed linen and can also survive a wash. Even worse, a person who has food poisoning could be excreting salmonella into the bed. Norovirus is another concern because it can be carried with no symptoms, and if you decide to sleep naked, it's very easy to pass it on to the linen.
In addition to 60 degree Celsius washes, cold alpine air, opening the windows, removing carpet and using laundry disinfectants, you could also consider investing in allergenic protectors for your mattresses and pillows. This could be quite helpful for those who already suffer from allergy symptoms.
Regardless of what method you choose, it's important to recognize that these microscopic creatures are defecating in your bed. Do your best to get them out of your sacred place so you can get a good night's sleep without the company of ten million filthy and disrespectful uninvited visitors.
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