Sleeping in the same bed as someone usually means cuddles and comfort, but as nice as it can be to fall asleep next to someone every night, it can also lead to some unwanted consequences. There are a number of common mistakes that people make when sharing a bed with someone, and although they may not be at the top of your mind, they’re worth knowing about. Sharing a bed with someone can come with a lot of benefits, but you’ll want to take the proper precautions to make sure you’re not putting your own health at risk either.
“Sharing a bed may allow you to create a stronger intimate bond with that special someone, but also recognize that it can unfortunately come with several health risks,” Nesochi Okeke Igbokwe, M.D. tells Bustle. “Not everyone adheres to strong hygiene habits, and if you or your partner lack proper hygiene practices then it can pose a real health threat in the form of potential illness or infection.”
There’s no reason to be afraid of snuggling up next to your loved one, but you should be aware of the dos and don’ts when it comes to co-sleeping hygiene. Here are six mistakes people commonly make when sharing a bed with someone, according to experts.
When you’re sharing a bed with someone, it’s especially important to keep up with your laundry. “There can be many gross things on sheets and pillow case, including dust mites, bacteria, fungi and fecal matter,” family physician Navya Mysore, MD tells Bustle. “It’s one thing when it’s your own but certainly when sharing the bed it’s important to wash your bedding routinely to avoid cross contamination. Ideally change your sheets once a week.”
Going to bed with your makeup on can contribute to breakouts for both you and your partner. “It is so important to remove your makeup and wash your face before you go to bed every night,” says Okeke-Igbokwe. “Falling asleep with makeup on can not only stain your bedding, but it can also lead to the build up of certain oils and bacteria on your pillowcase and sheets. Subsequently, sleeping on these sheets can contribute to break outs and other skin irritation.”
It’s super cozy to let your pup snuggle up between you and your loved one, but you might want to leave Fido in his own bed overnight. “If [you’re sleeping with your pet], you can get fleas, fungus, bacterial infection, or even an allergic reaction to the fur,” dermatologist Dr. Ava Shamban tells Bustle.
Most couples pick their own side of the bed, but if you’re impartial to where you sleep, just make sure your pillows don’t get swapped. “Pillow cases are often stained with saliva or even blood (especially if one has chapped lips or a facial cut from shaving),” dermatologist Dr. William Kwan tells Bustle. “It’s probably best not to share a pillow case for this mere reason.”
Using certain products, and not washing them off before bed, can lead to some skin issues if they get all over the sheets. “Using a lot of moisturizers either on the face or body can stain the sheets and make them sticky,” says Kwan. “Don’t forget about pomades and oils for the hair. Dry shampoo can also leave stains, especially if the dry shampoo is tinted.”
Some people aren’t night-shower-ers, but if you share a bed with someone and one of you has allergies, it’s best to rinse off before getting into bed. “People who don’t shower at the end of the day bring all kind of allergens, bacteria, and viruses right into bed with them,” allergist and internist Dr. Tania Elliott tells Bustle. “That can put you at risk for allergy flare ups, stuffy nose, itchy watery eyes, or even worse, infection. It’s fine if you are a morning shower person, just make sure you rinse off before going to bed at night.”
Sharing a bed with someone can be a great thing, but it’s also incredibly useful to know how to keep your bed clean and free of unwanted germs and residue.
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