The Innocuous Pillow: How It Might Be Affecting Your Health

Your pillow might be the breeding ground of pathogens.)

In this fast-moving world, we often hit the bed only at nighttime after a long day at work. So, the moment we slide into our beds, the soft pillows cradle our heads as we fall into a deep slumber. However, the pillow that you let your head rest on might be making you sick. It’s shocking, but it’s true. Find out how your pillow could be depleting your health in various ways.

What Could Be Hiding In Your Pillow?

Numerous bugs, fungi, and mold could be hiding in your pillow

True that a pillow might just look like a lot of soft stuffing, but they could actually be a fertile breeding ground of numerous bugs, fungi, and mold. It has been found that an average pillow contains over one million fungal spores.

How Could A Pillow Make You Sick?

Fungi in pillows can trigger reactions in people with asthma or sinusitis.)

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We tend to spend the night pressing our face against our pillow, which is actually a potential reservoir of germs. During the average human lifespan, the direct exposure to mites, fungi, and potential pathogens adds up to 25 years, which is almost one third of our lives. Aspergillus fumigatus is the most common form of fungus found in pillows, and this fungus can trigger reactions in people with asthma or sinusitis. It may even cause respiratory issues among those people who do not have asthma.

Similarly, dust mites can also add to allergies while you are asleep. Minute bugs that are related to spiders and ticks love to make pillows their home. Although these mites do not cause any known health issue, their droppings have found to trigger asthma, eczema, hay fever, and rhinitis.

How To Care For Your Pillow?

The common trait that dust mites, mold, and fungi are known for is their love for a damp and warm environment.

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Pillows provide abundant moisture and warmth from the heat and sweat we produce all through the night. In fact, our dead skin cells also provide great nutrition to these pathogens. If you are looking out for ways to provide the perfect ecosystem for bacteria, mold, and mites, follow a few simple tips to maintain good hygiene of your pillows.

Tip 1. Go To Bed With A Dry Head

Going to bed with wet hair allows the pillow to let moisture seep into it directly. This creates a perfect environment for unwanted pathogens to multiply. To avoid this from happening, dry your hair well before bedtime or take a shower keeping ample time to let your hair dry naturally.

Tip 2. Keep Your Bedroom Pet-Free

Although it is nice to wake up with your furry friends, pets are known to attract a lot of bacteria and carry them along toward your bedding and pillow. So, keep your pets away from your bedroom.

Tip 3. Minimize Excess Pillows

It is nice to enjoy elegant bedroom decor and excess soft furnishings on your bed, but they provide extra space

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to mites, bugs, and fungi to inhabit comfortably. Since we don’t directly sleep on the decorative pillows, they are washed less often, which make them more prone to pathogens.

Tip 4. Declutter Regularly And Dust Often

When your room is in a mess, it will automatically attract mites. To stop this from happening, declutter regularly, dust the surfaces often, and vacuum carpets, rugs, and bedding as often as you can.

Tip 5. Use A HEPA Filter

Although a little more expensive than they should be, investing in a HEPA filter can help you stay away from multiple sensitivities and allergies. HEPA filters are designed to extract bugs and pathogens from the air and provide clean surfaces. You may also use a dehumidifier for your bedroom and keep mites and microorganisms away.

Tip 6. Wash And Replace Your Pillows From Time To Time

Wash your bedding and pillows in hot water from time to time. Also, leave them to dry thoroughly in sunlight. Replace your pillows when they become old and start to wear out.

Ways To Pick A Good Pillow

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To choose the right pillow, keep the following things in mind.

1. Go for less-toxic pillows as certain foam pillows contain harmful chemicals, which are potentially carcinogenic and allergenic.

2. Do not use feather quilts, feather covers, and other feather bedding.

3. Spend as much as you can afford. Do not use microfiber and polyester bedding materials even if they are inexpensive and machine-washable. Invest in expensive, low-allergenic pillows, if possible.

4. Choose breathable, organic cotton covers. They are less allergenic and retain less sweat than other fabrics.

Now that you know what pillows to choose and how to maintain them, you will fall sick less than ever.