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Scientists: To keep mites away, leave your bed unmade every day

by Randee Dawn / / Source: TODAY

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While it may be better for your mental health to make your bed, it could be better for your physical health to leave it a complete mess, say scientists.

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Those who have a horror of creepy-crawlies may want to stop reading now, because here's why: Leaving it unmade, according to scientists who spoke with the BBC, allows the million or so dust mites who share the sack with you every night to die off.

 This doesn't look so messy after all. Shutterstock

As some of us are aware (but try not to be), dust mites are everywhere, and feed on scales of human skin; they also produce allergens that can be inhaled during sleep. And approximately 1.5 million of them are hanging out with you every night when you go to sleep.

When you return from running and screaming around your room, here's the solution to get rid of them: Don't make the bed!

The bugs are happiest in a warm, moist environment (like one you're in while you get your zzzzzs), and are more likely to die off when that environment changes (and you leave). Keeping the sheets wide open helps in their demise.

As Dr. Stephen Pretlove told the BBC, "We know that mites can only survive by taking in water from the atmosphere using small glands on the outside of their body. Something as simple as leaving a bed unmade during the day can remove moisture from the sheets and mattress so the mites will dehydrate and eventually die."

 These guys! Shutterstock

Mites can be a factor in triggering asthma, too; fewer mites means fewer triggers. But as Professor Andrew Wardlaw of the British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology noted, most homes are humid enough that they're going to thrive regardless.

"I find it hard to believe that simply not making your bed would have any impact on the overall humidity," he said.

Clearly, this debate has not been put to bed.

Follow Randee Dawn on Google+ and Twitter.

This article was originally published on September 11, 2015.

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