Sleep Hygiene – An Often Overlooked Necessity

Our universe houses many mysteries. Yet, strong sleep hygiene isn’t one! The overwhelming amount of germs, body waste (think dead skin cells and sweat), dust, and filth that inhabits your bed while sleep hygiene is grossly ignored is just unfathomable.

Mayo Clinic is a world pioneer in medical treatment and science.

According to Mayo Clinic, a global medical care and science pioneer, the typical bed, if left unregulated, is extremely unsanitary.It is no more your ‘quiet’ spot to take a nap, it provides a haven for dust-mite colonies as a 24/7 smorgasbord, numbered between 100,000 and 10 million.

These microbes (taxonomically connected to the spider family) might not be blood-sucking bugs. Even so, they feed happily on dead human skin cells or pet dander, making them unwanted bedfellows. The cause for concern is the toxic allergens that they deposit in their tiny feces. This may induce and intensify allergies such as eczema and rhinitis while remaining invisible to the human eye.

Fortunately, adopting proper sleep hygiene habits will reduce harm. Evidence indicates that dust-mites and their feces are are the prime cause for at least 10% of a two-year-old pillow’s weight …

with this and more hidden between the bedding and mattress, #SweetDreamsBecomeAMyth.

According to a UK report, dust-mites aren’t the only cause for concern. Pillows host 50 types of fungi after 1 to 5 years of usage – troubling those with respiratory issues like asthma and sinusitis. Everything after a week!

Moreover, the same research shows the amount of bacteria build-up over time in a mattress. 3,000,000 bacterial units with colony-forming capability existed in 12 months and it grew to over 16,060,000 in 7 years. Although all this makes you squirm, there’s no decent sleep hygiene to put off, procrastinate or ‘sleep on.’

Were you aware that every day, the typical human loses around 1.5 grams of dead skin cells, providing sustenance to one million dust mites at the same time? Humans also sweat up to 26 gallons a year … only in bed.

Healthy grooming is a no-brainer! Your sleep sanctuary should be protected. You devote a third of your time here (hopefully, sleeping soundly, 7-9 hours a night). Then why place it — and your health — in danger?

Top 5 Do’s that you need to follow :

[1] Regular washing

Wash all bedding once every week (preferably in hot water). Also think about expending in pillow and mattress covers. Try combining detergent with some drops of eucalyptus oil. Use this during pre-soaking or general washing (research shows that this essential oil is effective in destroying dust-mites, particularly if hot water washing is not practical).

When you are ill, wash the bedding as soon as possible. Although flu viruses live on tissues for around 15 minutes, certain gastro bugs can last up to four hours on clothing. Also, place the bedding on high heat for 30 minutes after washing, before hanging it out in the sunlight to dry entirely.

Clean the pillows at least twice a year (tumble dry with two tennis balls in a sock to hold soft pillows). Invest in fresh pillows every two years. It’s also a smart thing to take a shower before bedtime. Data shows that the activity keeps you sterile (it is also luxurious), and is sleep-inducing (ideally 90 minutes until bedtime).

[2] Remove the dust

Dust everywhere, including the bed, at least once a week. Using a moist, clean cloth can minimize the volume of mixed dust. Also, try applying a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil*  

(* be cautious if you have pets that are likely to have close interaction with surfaces as eucalyptus is harmful to dogs and cats).

[3] Decluttering

Clutter draws ashes. It can distract your sleep because of the mess in the area. Keep your room clean.

[4] Vacuum cleaning

Vacuum whatever is possible, this includes your mattress and pillows. Make sure that you are equipped with a double-layered microfilter bag or HEPA filter.

Do intense cleaning once in a while. It’s a smart practice to periodically clean rugs and allow them to bake-dry in the light, then sweep to eliminate dust-mite particles and allergens.

[5] Staying calm and cool at all times

Maintain your bedroom temperature between 18-22 ° C. This is suggested for optimum sleep by the National Sleep Foundation. Dust-mites prefer wet and humid conditions. Try utilising a dehumidifier or air-conditioner to maintain the humidity at or below 50%.

Non-washable bedding should be frozen overnight (if you have freezer space) to destroy the dust-mites. Vacuum to clear the left-over traces.

Indoor plants may also help control humidity.

Finally, the right bedding and sleepwear will help you remain comfortable. Choose materials that provide warmth, but not gas. Cotton’s ideal, silk’s better. Besides being hypoallergenic, silk is temperature-regulating and anti-aging. Its normal properties even wick away excess body moisture. The silk goods of Goodnight Co. are produced from 100% Mulberry Silk, 22 Momme.

The Top 5 Don’ts are :

[1] Don’t overthink!

[2] Don’t prepare your morning bed automatically.

Yes, you’re reading it correctly! During the night, moisture builds in your room, so pull back the bedding and allow some cool air in (It makes your room less appealing to bacteria and mites). When you can relax, go out to welcome the light, perform some yoga, write or practice your own breathing. Psst: Don’t hesitate to go back to bed!

[3] Don’t use artificial harmful chemicals.

They may be toxic to eliminate allergens (dust droppings of mites to carcasses).

[4] Don’t use an indoor heater/radiator to dry clothing.

The resultant moisture makes the dust-mites feel right at home.

[5] Don’t confuse dust with bedbugs.

Bedbugs are noticeable through the naked eye and parasitic (meaning they bite and feed off your blood). To see dust mites, you require a 10X microscope (adults are around 0.5 mm and the juveniles are much smaller).

Keep the above points in mind. Your sleep sanctuary should be protected.



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