We spend more than a third of our lives in bed – but that place can quickly blossom into a “botanical park” of bacteria and fungus1, according to New York University microbiologist Philip Tierno.


If left for too long, the microscopic2 life within the wrinkles and folds of our bed sheets can even make us sick, Tierno told Business Insider.

To stem the invisible tide, he said sheets should be washed once a week.

Humans naturally produce roughly 26 gallons of sweat in bed every year. When it’s hot and humid outside, this moisture becomes what scientists call an “ideal fungal culture medium.”

In a recent study that assessed the level of fungal contamination in bedding, researchers found that feather and synthetic3 pillows between 1.5 and 20 years old can contain between four and 17 different species of fungus.

And it’s not just your own microbial life you’re sleeping with. In addition to the fungi4 and bacteria that come from your sweat, sputum, skin cells, and vaginal and anal excretions, you also share your bed with foreign microbes.

These include animal dander, pollen5, soil, lint6, dust mite7 debris8 and faeces, and finishing agents from whatever your sheets are made from, to name a few.

Tierno says all that gunk becomes “significant” in as little as a week. And unclean bedding still exposes you to materials that can trigger the sniffing9 and sneezing, since the microbes are so close to your mouth and nose that you’re almost forced to breathe them in.

“Even if you don’t have allergies10 per se, you can have an allergic11 response,” Tierno said.


1 fungus gzRyI
Mushrooms are a type of fungus.蘑菇是一种真菌。
This fungus can just be detected by the unaided eye.这种真菌只用肉眼就能检查出。
2 microscopic nDrxq
It’s impossible to read his microscopic handwriting.不可能看清他那极小的书写字迹。
A plant’s lungs are the microscopic pores in its leaves.植物的肺就是其叶片上微细的气孔。
3 synthetic zHtzY
We felt the salesman’s synthetic friendliness.我们感觉到那位销售员的虚情假意。
It’s a synthetic diamond.这是人造钻石。
4 fungi 6hRx6
Students practice to apply the study of genetics to multicellular plants and fungi.学生们练习把基因学应用到多细胞植物和真菌中。
The lawn was covered with fungi.草地上到处都是蘑菇。
5 pollen h1Uzz
Hummingbirds have discovered that nectar and pollen are very nutritious.蜂鸟发现花蜜和花粉是很有营养的。
He developed an allergy to pollen.他对花粉过敏。
6 lint 58azy
Flicked the lint off the coat.把大衣上的棉绒弹掉。
There are a few problems of air pollution by chemicals,lint,etc.,but these are minor.化学品、棉花等也造成一些空气污染问题,但这是次要的。
7 mite 4Epxw
The poor mite was so ill.可怜的孩子病得这么重。
He is a mite taller than I.他比我高一点点。
8 debris debris
After the bombing there was a lot of debris everywhere.轰炸之后到处瓦砾成堆。
Bacteria sticks to food debris in the teeth,causing decay.细菌附着在牙缝中的食物残渣上,导致蛀牙。
9 sniffing 50b6416c50a7d3793e6172a8514a0576
n.探查法v.以鼻吸气,嗅,闻( sniff的现在分词 );抽鼻子(尤指哭泣、患感冒等时出声地用鼻子吸气);抱怨,不以为然地说
We all had colds and couldn’t stop sniffing and sneezing. 我们都感冒了,一个劲地抽鼻子,打喷嚏。
They all had colds and were sniffing and sneezing. 他们都伤风了,呼呼喘气而且打喷嚏。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
10 allergies 2c527dd68e63f119442f4352f2a0b950
n.[医]过敏症;[口]厌恶,反感;(对食物、花粉、虫咬等的)过敏症( allergy的名词复数 );变态反应,变应性
Food allergies can result in an enormous variety of different symptoms. 食物过敏会引发很多不同的症状。 来自辞典例句
Let us, however, examine one of the most common allergies; hayfever. 现在让我们来看看最常见的变态反应的一种–枯草热。 来自辞典例句
11 allergic 4xozJ
Alice is allergic to the fur of cats.艾丽斯对猫的皮毛过敏。
Many people are allergic to airborne pollutants such as pollen.许多人对空气传播的污染物过敏,比如花粉。

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该日志由 1zanxin 于2018年01月23日发表在 杂谈 分类下,
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