Slipping into a bed of clean, crisp bedding is a wonderful feeling. A survey by Bupa a couple of years ago revealed that a freshly made bed was voted number one in a list of things that make us feel great – it’s a genuinely easy-to-achieve, feel-good phenomenon.
So why do so many people shirk on the sheet washing – and how often should we really be doing it?
It comes down to more than just good quality bedding and a lovely smelling fabric softener – although these things are very important to us here at Sleepypeople! It’s a health issue too.
We spend a lot of time in bed. In fact, the average person spends around 25 years of their life in bed – and that’s just sleeping. So there is naturally a bit of a build of up on the sheets. An adult can actually lose up to a litre of sweat in one night alone, and there is more than just sweat getting soaked in; your sheets absorb skin, food, cosmetics, creams and general dirt and dust.
This creates a build up of bacteria, which will naturally fester for longer as the sheets get dirtier. Exposing your skin to this can cause irritations, particularly if you suffer from sensitive skin already. Ironically, any preventative cosmetics and creams you apply will add to the situation. Dirty pillowcases in particular can cause spots and pimples on the face and neck.
While spots and itchy skin can be irritating, there is more. The build up of sweat helps mould and fungi to grow within the fibres of your sheets, which can lead to a range of infections – sometimes in some pretty intimate places!
In addition, our skin attracts mites; microscopic creatures that feast on our skin – and we naturally shed the stuff when we sleep, so we are very attractive to these tiny organisms! Their droppings contain a pretty potent allergen, which may lead to asthma-like symptoms, eczema or sinus problems.
So clean, good quality bedding is a must for a healthy night’s sleep.
The general advice is to change your bedsheets at least once a week. Ensure that it is washed in high temperatures – 60 degrees or above is recommended. In between washes, turn down the duvet in the morning to give the bed a good airing. Hoover around the bed and over the mattress to reduce dust levels – and don’t forget to wash your pillows and duvets every month or so too: a pillow will be one third skin, dust mites and mite droppings after remaining unwashed for just a few months.
Another tip is to use pillow and mattress protectors between your sheets and bedding, these should be washed regularly, ideally with your sheets.
Getting into the habit of a weekly sheet wash is about more than just the feel-good factor; it’s a health issue for the whole family. Keeping spare bedding to hand is a must and needn’t cost the earth; we stock a range of bedding sets for all bed sizes, from cot bedding up to king size bed sheets.
Newer ranges include the Silentnight Safe Nights collection, which has been specially created for babies and infants, as well as a range of luxury adult bedding in a variety of textures and colours, from waffle to stripe, grey to pink.
With a little planning and organisation, you can ensure your sheets are clean and your bed is healthy. Which all contributes to a better sleep and a happier you.