Sleeping with the Enemy

bed-bugs

7 Creatures or Bacteria that Probably Made your Mattress its Home

So you have your mattress a few years and it sleeps great! You guys are pretty much going steady, you daydream about cuddles and every night you look forward to

curling up with your perfect mate. What you don’t know is that you might be sharing your dream-bed with some unwelcome guests!

Some of them are alive, some of them are breeding and some of them might be by-products left behind by your disgusting ex with the hygiene problem!

We spend at least a third of our life sleeping on our beds, that is why experts recommend that we should change our mattress every 5 to 8 years. Usually the

reasoning behind this theory is of an orthopaedic nature; however there is a lot more to this than human physiology. The truth of the matter is that there are some really gross stuff lurking in your mattress!

At the Sleep Gallery we believe in educating folks, so we put together a list of the top 7 Most Unwanted guests that share your mattress with you!

  1. 1. Bed Bugs:

    These are like the little vampires of the bed kingdom. These parasites’ favourite hiding spots are mattresses, headboards or bed frames or any tight spot where they have easy access to you at night! Why do the need easy access you ask? Simple, so they can feed off your blood! Although their bites are mostly harmless, they can lead to itchy welts. These little bloodsuckers are also one of the hardest to get rid of and we recommend you call professional pest control to send them packing!

  2. 2. Dust Mites:

    The dust mite is most common critter you will find sharing your bed with you, call them the cockroaches of the bed kingdom. They feed off organic matter, like your dead skin flakes, hence making your mattress and bedding ideal breeding grounds. They are also common catalysts for asthma, hay fever and other allergic reactions.  Even if you underwent decontamination level 100, you will never be able to get rid of all the dust mites in your mattress; this is unfortunately a battle we mere mortals always lose!  However, taking precautions like using mattress and pillow protectors will go a long way in protecting you and your family against these fiends.

  3. 3. Mould and Mildew

    Given that most people sweat quite a lot during the night, moisture seeps into your mattress. Without promoting proper ventilation the end result will be lead to mould and mildew building up inside your mattress. We refer to this phenomenon as the algae of the bed kingdom.  Mould spores can also become airborne which increases the chance of it ending up in your lungs causing breathing problems. Once mould has developed on a mattress it is nearly impossible to get rid of, thereby it’s best just to end that relationship as soon as possible. Taking adequate precautionary measures is always best to solve this issue! Make sure you are using a well ventilated base to support your mattress and ensure your mattress protector is breathable and waterproof.

  4. 4. Fleas:

    If you have pets, like most pet lovers you probably allow your pets to curl up in bed with you! And even though that’s all cute, warm and cuddly now, chances are you could have a flea problem. Although they cannot survive on humans, they can bite and leave you with annoying, itchy bumps. We call them the parasites of the bed kingdom.

  5. 5. Dead Skin Cells

    It is estimated that a 10-year- old mattress can contain up to 5kgs of dead skin cells! Dead skin cells are the waste matter of the bed kingdom and provide plenty of food for dust & skin mites and could trigger allergic conditions.

  6. 6. E coli:

    Finding bacteria such as E coli indicates the presence of faecal contamination. This means that if someone was carrying an infectious disease, it could be passed onto to someone sharing the bed or using the bed afterwards! Methicillin-resistant.

  7. 7. Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA):

    This penicillin-resistant supervillain of the bacterial world can run rampant in your carpet and mattress, especially if you have any athletes in the house.

Judging from the above, your bed is most probably a hotbed for bacteria and parasites, but don’t go out and burn your mattress just yet!

We put together a little checklist for you to follow. This will help ensure you are taking the necessary precautions to avoid any nasty surprises or unwanted bed guests:

  • 1. Keep your bedroom well ventilated and open windows when possible. You can also leave the duvet pulled back for a few hours after waking, allowing the bed to cool faster. This will restrict the growth of moulds and yeasts – not just in the mattress but around the windows themselves.
  • 2. Give pillow cases, sheets and  duvet covers a hot wash as higher temperatures are required to kill germs and dust mites – ideally 60°C plus. Including a laundry additive will also help to kill bacteria and viruses.
  • 3. Replace your mattress every eight years to ensure that it remains fit for purpose, supportive and comfortable; without a build-up of potentially harmful microbes (gross).
  • 4. Using a mattress protector will help to reduce the amount of moisture absorbed by the mattress. You can wash this regularly, but of course you can’t wash your mattress.
  • 5. Do a simple bed inspection twice a year. Pay close attention to the stitching of mattresses and frame joints as this is where bedbugs prefer to hide.

Hope this article has been informative. Good night, sleep tight.. we’ve warned you about when the bed bugs bite!

Ebrahim
Your Partner in Sleep

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