Bedtime habits can be a highly personal subject. The bedroom is a private place, and what we do in the bedroom isn’t always something we like to share with others – and no, I don’t just mean that stuff. Even the act of sleeping itself can be a personal matter, as many of us have certain sleeping eccentricities or peculiarities that we’re not proud of. One of the things we don’t always like to share is how often we change our sheets. All sorts of bodily substances accrete on sheets while we sleep (and do other things), and keeping sheets clean is one way to stay healthy and smelling your best. Unfortunately, many of us don’t change our sheets as much as we should. A new survey, in fact, has found that almost one in four people only change their sheets once every month. Maybe it’s time to buy a UV flashlight before you go on any more Tinder dates.

The survey was carried out by UK-based sleep products retailer Time4Sleep. Time4Sleep asked over a thousand participants to admit how often they change their sheets and at what point they feel like sheets become unhygienic. According to the results, just 28% of Brits change their sheets once every week, while 40% of Brits change their bed sheets once every two weeks. Nearly a quarter (24%) change their sheets just once every three or four weeks. The survey was used to promote Time4Sleep’s “Speediest Sheet Changer” contest. 47-year-old Sally Johnston from Goole, East Yorkshire won after sending in a video of her changing her sheets in just over one minute.

Most scientists who study such things recommend that bed sheets be changed around once a week. While we sleep, body oils, dead skin cells and hair, and other bodily effluvia seep out of us where they are absorbed by our sheets. Over time, these can become the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and all manners of other creepy crawlies that you definitely don’t want in your bed. So come on, change your sheets once in a while. You’re not in college anymore.

Unless you are. In which case, you should definitely change your sheets immediately. And get some sleep.

Brett Tingley

Brett Tingley is a writer and musician from the mountains of Western North Carolina. Contact him at [email protected]

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