How to Combat Dust Mites in Your Mattress

Dust mites are related to spiders and scorpions and look like them too. Millions of them can live on your mattress at a time, even if you can’t see any of them with the naked eye. Dust mites can be found particularly in mattresses, carpets, and upholstery. Even though they are hard to detect and to kill, there are proactive measures you can take to prevent dust mites, and if you already have a dust mite infestation, there are still actions you can take to limit their impact and get rid of them.

Do not confuse dust mites with bed bugs. The major difference is that dust mites feed on dead human skin cells and pet dander, while bed bugs are parasites, attaching to your body and feeding on your blood. Dust mites are still dangerous too though, besides it being creepy just knowing they are in your mattress while you are sleeping. They can impact you if you have allergies or cause you to develop a new allergy. Dust mites when airborne can trigger asthma attacks, and the dust mite allergy can also trigger allergic rhinitis and eczema. Common symptoms include sneezing; runny or stuffy nose; red, itchy, or teary eyes; wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, and tightness in chest; and itching.

So why are mattresses a common breeding ground for dust mites? Since humans shed 1.5 grams of dead skin cells a day and we spend a third of our lives on our mattresses, you can do the math! And by the way, just that 1.5 grams of dead skin cells each day feeds over a million dust mites a day. Yikes. As you can see, our mattresses are a playground for these little pests. Humidity and the perspiration your body causes when sleeping also contributes to the ideal dust mite habitat, warm and damp.

The best thing you can do is clean your mattress with specific techniques and pick the mattress that is best for someone with allergies. Latex mattresses tend to be a good option because they are hypoallergenic and naturally resist microbes. In fact, latex foam is also more breathable than traditional foam, trapping less heat, where a cooler environment curbs the growth and proliferation of dust mites. But whether you own a latex mattress or not, there are ways to maintain your mattress to keep it dust mite free.

Each morning, wait a while to make your bed. Yes, we just gave you permission to avoid this chore (but not for long). This gives your mattress time to air out. Every couple weeks, strip your bed entirely to let it breathe. While your at it, run the vacuum over the surface. When properly maintained, a mattress can last up to 7-10 years. If your mattress is creeping up in age, you may consider choosing a new mattress.  We hate to break it to you, but if you’ve had your mattress for more than 5 years, there are most definitely dust mites, bacteria, and other microorganisms that have crept their way into your mattress layers – no matter how clean you think you are.

Your sleep health is just as important important was your overall health. Make sure your sleeping structure is helping you achieve the best sleep possible, not making you sick.

Written By Guest Blogger: Lisa Smalls

Why Cleaning Your Home Is a Health Habit

We all know the things we need to do to stay healthy, right? You eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and practice good hygiene. But have you ever considered how your home might be affecting your health? Cleaning the house is often seen as a thankless chore, but it is actually just as much a part of a good well-being routine than going for a jog or brushing your teeth. Turns out there are quite a few health hazards lurking in your home, and a good cleaning routine is the only way to eliminate them.

 

Allergens and Pollutants

Enemy number one when it comes to allergens is dust. Dust is inevitable; it is a combination of skin particles, pet dander, sand, insect waste, dirt, food crumbs, and a variety of other products of everyday life. Most people get rid of dust as a matter of cleanliness, but it can also be dangerous.

And it’s not the only one. You may think pollution is just an outside problem, but your home’s air is also filled with pollutants. Even if there are no smokers in the house, air pollution can come from cooking food, candles, incense, and even the act of cleaning itself. All these micro-particles in the air can damage and irritate your respiratory systems and can be particularly damaging to children.

So how do you get rid of allergens and pollutants? Dust and dirt should be vacuumed and removed effectively, not just spread around, so make sure you have the right tools for dusting. Ventilation is key, so remember to open windows to air out rooms regularly, and make sure your kitchen fan is working effectively. You can also invest in an air purifier to clean the air you breathe every day.

 

Mold 

Mold is an annoyingly common phenomenon, especially in rooms which see a lot of moisture such as the bathroom and kitchen. It is also, according to the CDC, potentially harmful for your respiratory system. Some people experience allergy symptoms when living with mold, and some can even develop serious complications with their lungs.

Getting rid of mold or other ingrained stains often requires a proper deep clean, which can be time-consuming and exhausting. If you don’t have the time, patience, or ability to put in that much elbow grease into your cleaning, consider hiring a professional. A one-off full interior home cleaning in Appleton, WI, costs between $121 and $253, which can be well worth it for getting the hardest jobs done and leaving only basic ongoing maintenance for you to do.

 

Clutter Anxiety

Finally, there’s your mental health. Everyone has felt that elation when they finish cleaning: surfaces sparkle, the room smells fresh and clean, and everything is exactly where it should be. Turns out, there’s a reason for that wonderful feeling, and it’s not just pride at having actually cleaned.

Dirty, messy homes can trigger feelings of anxiety, according to Psychology Today expert Sherrie Bourg Carter. Clutter, mess, and general chaos in the home overwhelm the senses with unnecessary stimuli and can make you feel unfocused, stressed, guilty, and overwhelmed. When your house is uncluttered, your mind feels uncluttered as well.

The bad news is that you have to continue cleaning your house often. Unless you want to pay someone else to do it, there’s no way to avoid it. The good news is that you are not just doing it to make your house look good. Cleaning is an act of self-care and a health habit, one which will make you healthier and happier in both body and mind.

 

Written By Guest Blogger: Julia Merrill

Julia Merrill is on a mission. She wants to use information to close the gap between medical providers and their patients. She started BefriendYourDoc.org to do just that. The site offers an abundance of information from tips on finding the right medical care to help with dealing with insurance companies to general health and wellness advice and more.