When you hop into bed at night, the last thing you’re probably thinking about is what’s crawling in there with you (like microscopic bacterial cells – eww).
The icky but true fact is that the human body is home to over 1000 species of bacteria. Earlier this month, scientists reported on a 5-year study of all the bacteria that inhabit the human body. The study found that there are roughly 100 trillion bacteria, weighing 2-6 pounds in a 200-pound person!
Of these bacteria, there are several types that thrive on the surface of the skin. Interestingly, different species live in different areas of the skin. So, the bacteria on your back aren’t the same as those found between your toes. As described by Julie Segre, a senior investigator at the National Human Genome Research Institute, some areas, such as the nose and belly button, also host a greater amount of bacteria.
If that wasn’t enough, bacteria aren’t the only things that take up space in your bed. Of your billions of skin cells, you lose roughly 1,500,000 per hour while you sleep. Over the course of a night, that’s a lot of sloughed off skin! Allergy-causing dust mites then feed off of these dead cells. So, if you find that you’re waking up with a stuffy nose and watery eyes, there’s a good chance you have a dust mite allergy.
So, how do you minimize the number of dust mites and bacteria on your sheets? Stay tuned for simple hints on how to ban these from your bed – and for a fun contest starting soon on our Facebook page!