Winter is quickly approaching, the temperature is dropping and the days are getting shorter. Many of you may have already encountered the flu this season, even if you had taken the proper precautions. We all know to button up our jackets, wear a hat, a scarf, gloves and warm clothes when leaving the house. We also know that not properly dressing before going outside can lead to you getting sick. What you may not know is that your mattress and pillows may be contributing to you becoming sick or prolonging your sickness.
Bacteria and other airborne illnesses may not immediately affect your health, but you might be carrying that sickness around on your clothes or skin. When you hop into bed for a cozy slumber, the bacteria may fall onto your bed or onto your pillow. While you sleep, you may be causing the germs or bacteria to become airborne, which you then breathe in. This can often lead to a person becoming sick even if they take all necessary precautions before leaving the house. Additionally, during the winter we use artificial heat. This can greatly reduce the water vapor in the air (humidity), and cause our skin to become dry and itchy. Skin cells can and will loosen and also become airborne. While they do not pose any severe threat, they can still cause irritation and contribute to you becoming sick.
To help ensure that your sleeping environment is not harboring any harmful bacteria, it is best to routinely clean your bed. Washing all covers, pads, pillows and the mattress will greatly reduce and eliminate any buildup of harmful bacteria that may cause a person to become ill during the winter months. Here is a great way to start safeguarding your bedroom:
Clean your sheets. To start, take off all of your sheets and pillow covers. You will want to wash them, as they are the “barrier” between you, your mattress, and pillow. During the winter, you will want to wash your sheets at least once a week. This will greatly reduce the risk of bacteria being “stirred up” during the night, and reduce the amount of dead skin cells surrounding your body.
Clean your pillows. Most pillows are machine washable, and should be washed at least two times a month. Although your pillow sheets will prevent some bacteria from directly entering your pillow, it is always better to be safe than sorry.
Clean your mattress. No matter what mattress you have, it is advised to vacuum the mattress first. This will suck away any loose dirt, bacteria or any unwanted particles from the mattress. It is best to steam clean any mattress, as it will penetrate deep into the mattress and sterilize it. If that option is not available, there are mixtures you can purchase at the store. You can even mix your laundry detergent with water to clean the mattress.
After cleaning your mattress, it may still be damp or wet. You will want to let it dry completely. Setting up a fan or opening a window for a light breeze can help dry your mattress. After the mattress is dry, you will want to vacuum it one last time to remove any residue or particles that may have come loose from the cleaning.
All that is left for you to do is make your bed!
If you do find yourself sick, as we can only hope to prevent it from happening, make sure to wash and clean your bedroom once you are better. While sick, you may unintentionally spread bacteria or an airborne illness around from simply breathing or coughing. Cleaning your bed and furniture once you’re feeling better can prevent you or anyone who enters your room from becoming sick.
Do you have any tips on how to stay healthy this winter? Leave them in the comments!