Table of contents:
- Making beds is unhealthy
- Mites love moisture
- 1.5 million mites in bed
- Asthma and allergies threaten
- Easy solution against mites
- There is danger in the mite droppings
- Further measures against mites
Video: Not making a bed helps against dust mites
Make bed - yes or no? It used to be a question of order and discipline. But that could change, because researchers have found that especially those who do not make their bed in the morning are effectively fighting the mites in the pillow and blanket.
Making beds is unhealthy
If Mommy had known that back then: If you make your bed every day and pull the sheets tight like in hotel rooms, you may be harming your health! Because dust mites feel much more comfortable in nicely made beds than in the bustle of the unmade duvet.
Mites love moisture
So the motto now is: don't make the bed, just fold back the covers. This allows the mattress and the underside of the top half of the blanket to dry. This is scientifically supported - a research group of housing specialists at Kingston University in London has found that mites cannot survive in the warm, dry environment of an unmade bed. However, under a neatly laid bedspread, the moisture that has accumulated at night does not dry sufficiently. Mites feel at home there. These findings could benefit many people - especially those who already have an allergy.
Dust mites under the microscope: 1.5 million of the small arachnids can frolic in a bed.
/ Juan Gaertner
1.5 million mites in bed
The microscopic house dust mites cannot be seen with the naked eye, but they have it all: they can trigger asthma and other allergies. "An average bed can house up to 1.5 million dust mites, " explains Dr. Stephen Pretlove from the UK research team. These arachnids, which are smaller than a millimeter, feed on human dander. A person loses around 1.5 grams of dead skin per night, bringing up to 0.5 kilograms a year. No wonder that mites feel comfortable in our beds. In addition, a normal sweating person releases up to half a liter of sweat per night. So the bed becomes a paradise for the little mites.
Asthma and allergies threaten
The danger to humans: He breathes in the allergens produced by the mites during sleep. They are a major cause of diseases like asthma. The symptoms of a house dust mite allergy are similar to those of a cold: coughing, sneezing and headaches are troublesome for allergy sufferers, one in ten of whom is in Germany. This type of allergy is just as widespread as pollen allergy. Skin reactions can also occur, in extreme cases even shortness of breath.
Easy solution against mites
The scientists have developed a computer model that shows how changes in the home can reduce the number of house dust mites in bed. The result is likely to please lazybones - because the actually quite simple measure of leaving the bed unmade makes mites effectively a thing of the past: the unpleasant bed companions dehydrate and die. The reason is that mites only survive if they can absorb water from the room air. And they do that with small glands located on the outside of their bodies. For these reasons, it is also recommended that the bedroom is always well ventilated in the morning.
Deliberate disorder: It is best to just leave the duvet lying down or turn it over. Mites don't like that at all.
Photo: VTT Studio / Fotolia
There is danger in the mite droppings
By the way: The allergenic potential does not come from the mites, but from the excretions of the mini-animals. In the months of May to October, the little pests multiply diligently. When the heating season begins, the humidity in the apartment drops and the arachnids die. Then the concentration of mite droppings also reaches its peak. The exposure to allergens is therefore highest in autumn.
Further measures against mites
You can also effectively combat the mite allergens by washing the bed linen regularly for at least one hour at 60 degrees. Particularly dense covers on the mattresses, so-called "encasings", can help to reduce the allergenic potential in the bedroom. Similar to other allergies, house dust allergy can be treated with medication. So-called hyposensitization can also be considered. The body gets used to the substances that trigger the allergy in the long term. In this way, patients can get a grip on the allergy symptoms. Here you will find further tips for protecting against allergens in the household.
By the way, mites are not only found between mattresses and pillows: They can actually be found everywhere in closed rooms. The highest concentration of mites was measured in public transport, i.e. in buses and trains.