Your bed probably drones up happy thoughts of diving into fresh-out-of-the-dryer sheets and rela mornings spent reading in the soft light — not dust-induced sneezing sessions or back pain. But the place where you spend one-third of your life isn't always the healthiest. These are the ways your mattress, pillows, bedding and general bed habits might be causing you harm.
1. Your old mattress is leaving you stiff.
According to a survey completed by Dreams (a UK mattress specialist), an estimated tens of thousands of people in the country sleep on a mattress that's more than 40 years old. And since older mattresses can lack support, you're more likely to wake up feeling sore or tired due to poor sleep. That's why the National Sleep Foundation recommends getting a new one every eight years.
2. Your pillow is making you sneeze.
So you already know dust mites are everywhere in your bed. Yuck. Well their caucuses can also trigger allergies and asthma symptoms in 10% of people, according to the American College of Asthma, Allergies & Immunology. That means runny noses, nasal congestion and coughing galore. To avoid this, throw your pillow into the washing machine on the regular.
3. Your messy sheets are giving you anxiety.
Disorganization and clutter are proven to trigger stress in people — and your bed's no exception. Since making your bed every day might help you sleep better (and we all know being tired is a huge stressor) it's basically a win-win when it comes to your anxiety management.
But it's not just your physical bed that affects your health — everything in it can impact you, too.
4. Your snoring partner is affecting your sleep.
Apart from just being annoying, sleeping with a snorer can also harm your health. One study found that it could wake someone up as many as 21 times per hour, which disrupts crucial deep sleep. Yikes! Since rest is required to thrive in this world, it might be time to ask your partner to seek out professional help.
5. Your snuggly pet carries risk of infection.
Say it ain't so: According to public and veterinary health expert Dr. Jane Heller of Charles Sturt University, any close with your animal comes with some risk of infection or parasites. Your options? Wash your bedding more often than once a week or set up some boundaries.
6. Your bedtime reading is causing eye damage.
Even though scrolling through social media before falling asleep is an enjoyable way to unwind, that's actually when you need to give your eyes a break after a day in front of screens. To avoid headaches, dry eyes, blurred vision and more, keep your phone out of your bed.