HEALTH AND LIFESTYLE

Why your pillowcase has more bacteria than your toilet seat

Pillowcases that were left unwashed for four weeks had 39 times the bacteria of a pet's bowl.

In Summary

•Pillowcases that were left unwashed for four weeks had 39 times the bacteria of a pet's bowl.

•When you wake up, peel back the covers and give your bed a chance to dry and get some air.

Research has it that human beings on average spend about 26 years sleeping in their life which equates to 9,490 days or 227,760 hours.

This means most of the time we spend in beds.

As part of maintaining good sleep hygiene, it is advised to sleep in clean bedding and a clean room for maximum health benefits.

But are you aware your bed can be having more bacteria than your toilet seat?

New research carried out by Amerisleep compared the number of bacteria on bed sheets, pillowcases and other household objects obtained from volunteers.

They swabbed their bed for four weeks to see how much bacteria grew.

The study revealed that after just one week of use, pillowcases were found to have 17 thousand times more bacteria than a toilet seat.

While pillowcases that were left unwashed for four weeks had 39 times the bacteria of a pet's bowl.

It is not surprising that our beds are a breeding ground for bacteria.

Humans shed around 15 million skin cells each night, these provide the perfect setting for bacteria to multiply.

“While pillowcases and sheets are both considered bedding, they aren’t equal when it comes to bacteria distribution. Many of us keep our faces and heads cleaner than we keep the rest of our body, but that doesn’t necessarily equate to fewer bacteria,” they said.

“If you think about the many things that you come into contact with during the day, you might get a picture of all the new germs that you are bringing into your bed every night.”

Humans shed about 500 million skin cells in a day, many slough off while you roll around in bed.

Photographic Print: Human Skin Surface
Photographic Print: Human Skin Surface
Image: SEM by Susumu Nishinaga

If you do not clean them well, the dead cells pile up on your sheets in between washings, leaving tiny dust mites to feed on the shed cells.

The critters and their waste can trigger allergies, asthma, and cause your itchy eczema to flare.

For some people, they begin to notice acne and bad breakouts, this is because the embedded dirt, dead skin, and bacteria clog their pores.

Try and wash your bed sheets and pillowcases in hot water and with bleach, if possible, weekly or twice a week.

When you wake up, peel back the covers and give your bed a chance to dry and get some air.

That makes it a less attractive nesting spot for bacteria, bedbugs and mites.

Research done over the years show that human beings spend about 26 years sleeping in their life which equates to 9,490 days or 227,760 hours.

This means, most of the time we spend on our beds. You might be surprised to learn that your bed can be having more bacteria than your toilet seat.

A new research carried out by Amerisleep compared the number of bacteria on bedsheets, pillowcases and other household objects from volunteers.

They swabbed their bed for four weeks to see how much bacteria grew. The study revealed that after just one week of use, pillowcases were found to have 17 thousand times more bacteria than a toilet seat.