All of us know to wash our hands before every meal, and after going to the toilet, but what most people don’t realise is the fact that just because we temporarily halt our germs in the bathroom; it doesn’t stop them encroaching on our bedroom and in our beds!
Interestingly, every night when we go to sleep, up to 50% of us are not alone; whether we sleep with a partner or not.
According to one study, up to 45% of homes could be contaminated with levels of dust mite allergen concentrations that exceed levels associated with allergic sensitisation.
If you do have dust mites within your bedding, here are more than a couple of reasons to worry:
• Dust mites (as a population) can live without food for up to a year.
• They spread rapidly and female mites can live for around 10-70 days.
• Dust mites produce 200 times their weight in excrement during on lifetime.
• In one square yard of bedding, there could be as many as 100,000 mites. In your bed, depending on its size, there could be as many as 10 million of them.
How do dust mites affect you?
Unfortunately, dust mites can affect the health of a child, baby or a sufferer of eczema, and can cause other complications such as asthma and hay fever. If your house is also home to a dog or cat, these conditions could be amplified, making life unbearable for the sufferers.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms can often include itchy, watery eyes, runny nose, itching and a clogging of the ear canals. Though these ailments may not be a problem throughout the day, they can occur throughout the night; when a person is in very close proximity to the mites.
Though you can find them in your bed, you can also find them in your carpets, rugs and furniture.
How do you get rid of them?
- Wash your bedding regularly at a temperature of at least 60°C to remove both the mites and their faecal matter. If any do survive, make sure to put the bedding through a dryer to kill the remaining mites.
Doing this will hopefully keep the population at a minimum.
- Use anti-allergy bedding. Here at Sleepy People we have a wide range of bedding that helps eliminate dust allergies, but also bacteria; a great weapon not only for hay fever, but also acne.
- Control the humidity in the bedroom. Dust mites need moisture found in the air in order to survive. Keep the temperature at around 21°C is enough to keep them at bay and is the optimum temperature as suggested by the World Health Organisation.
How often should you wash things?
Duvets and Linen:
Wash the duvets every six months and clean the bedding every week.
Wash the pillows every three months or replace them every twelve months. After just six months of use, up to 10% of the weight of your pillow could be made up of dust mites.
Change them ever eight to ten years as according to the Sleep Council, we release up to half a pint of moisture every night, providing a great environment for dust mites.