Why our bed is a nest of bacteria

A whole host of germs are hidden under the covers that proper hygiene prevents from being transferred to other parts of the house.

How many times, after a long day, do you look forward to sinking into the comfort of your bed. Yet, between the pillows and sheets, there is a veritable nest of bacteria. This was explained by a microbiologist from the University of Westminster, Manal Mohammed, who spoke about how the combination of sweat, saliva, dandruff, dead skin cells and even food particles make the alcove an optimal environment for the growth of a whole range of germs such as fungi, viruses and even small insects.

Analysis on bacteria in hospital beds

Mohammed's study ties in with research on hospital bedding and comes to the conclusion that our beds can harbor a wide variety of bacterial species. In hospital bedding and pillow covers, it was found that the presence of staphylococcus was quite common. These bacteria are generally harmless, but can cause serious illness when they enter the body through an open wound. Then there are species of staph that are more harmful than others.

Staphylococcus aureus, for example, is quite contagious and can cause skin infections, pneumonia, and worsen acne. Not only has it been found to live on pillowcases, but research also shows that some strains are resistant to antibiotics. Research has shown that E. coli and other similar bacteria, known as gram negatives, are also common in hospital beds. These pose a serious health problem, however, because they are highly resistant to antibiotics and can cause serious human infections, including urinary tract problems, pneumonia, diarrhea, meningitis and sepsis.

To prevent them from coming into contact with the body or being carried around the house, it is critical, according to the microbiologist, to wash your hands properly after using the bathroom. About one-third of people carry staphylococcus aureus in their bodies. When you sleep, you lose about 500 million cells that can be eaten by microscopic dust mites. Mites and their droppings can trigger allergies and even asthma.

Bugs can also be a danger. Although these tiny insects have not been shown to transmit disease, they can cause itchy red bite marks, along with a variety of mental health effects, including anxiety, insomnia and allergies. Germs can also be carried into the bed from contaminated household items, such as clothes, towels, toilets, kitchen surfaces or even pets. Even diseases such as gonorrhea can be transmitted through contaminated towels or bedding.Various microbial species can also survive on fabrics for varying periods of time.

To ensure that germs do not become a health threat, the microbiologist believes it is necessary to ensure that bedding is washed properly and regularly. Not being able to wash the sheets every day, it would be helpful to air them out. It is also advisable to take a shower before going to bed, change pillowcases every two or three days and do not eat in bed.

Regarding sleep, however, it was found that listening to too much music before going to bed could disturb rest.

Stefania Bernardini