According to scientific research, there could be as many as 1.5 million dust mites living in the average bed, feeding on our old skin cells that we shed onto our sheets as we sleep.
The biggest problem that these dust mites cause is in fact what they leave behind. Their excretions can irritate dust allergies and cause asthma flare ups when inhaled.
Newest findings show that an unmade and open bed exposes the creatures to fresh air and light and will help dehydrate and kill them off. On the other hand, if you immediately make your bed with the sunrise, the tight sheets will trap millions of dust mites that live on your bed, feeding off your dead skin cells and sweat, and potentially contributing to asthma and allergy problems.
This was simply explained by Dr. Stephen Pretlove from Kingston University School of Architecture.
When we sleep, we sweat. The average person may sweat up to a liter of fluid per night. This creates an ideal breeding ground for the mites. Moreover, our skin flakes onto the sheets – providing a veritable feast for our bed’s dust mite inhabitants.
If your bed is made directly after getting up, all of the skin cells, body heat, moisture from your sweat and dust mites remain trapped beneath the sheets until bedtime. But leaving the bed unmade exposes the sheets to air and light, drying them out and thus, depleting the mites’ lifelines.
Dr. Pretlove says that “We know that mites can only survive by taking in water from the atmosphere using small glands on the outside of their body. ” He then adds that “Something as simple as leaving a bed unmade during the day can remove moisture from the sheets and mattress so the mites will dehydrate and eventually die.”
Moreover, the director of the cleaning lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute, Carolyn Forte, said that since there are dust mites everywhere, leaving your bed unmade might not make much of a difference, but it would be undoubtedly wise to leave your bed unmade for some time during the morning, so the sheets have an opportunity to dry from your nighttime tosses and turns.
Also, she adds that making your bed after you eat your breakfast and get ready for the day ahead is a good rule of thumb. It is also advisable to wash your sheets every one to two weeks — and don’t forget about those pillow cases.
It was recommended by experts to leave your bed unmade for the entire day and save this chore for when you get home at night. This will surely improve the air in the room, will eliminate many of the dust mites in your bed, which will positively affect your health.