Our bedrooms are our sanctuaries. It's where we rest our heads for hours upon hours every single night, our minds free to dream as they please in the safety of our home, our room, and our bed.
A place where we exist in such vulnerability—where our bodies rejuvenate—ought to be treated with the utmost care, don't you think? Well, some people don't, or they at least don't see it as a priority, letting the state of their bed gradually deteriorate without any interference.
A study revealed a surprising statistic about men and how little they tend to care for their beds, causing an uproar from women across social media.
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People exist on a sliding scale from complete and utter neat freak to 'couldn't care less, let chaos reign' messiness. Either they have a strict cleaning schedule they must adhere to lest they immediately feel filthy, or they simply don't tidy at all.
Neither of those are healthy, so it's good that most of us fall between those extremes. We all like our spaces being clean, but let's face it, chores are never fun to do.
Despite our disdain for, say, washing the dishes or doing the laundry, they're the chores that should be done more often. Unfortunately, just because we should, that doesn't mean everyone does.
Far Too Little
A recent survey asked men and women across the UK how often they perform one specific cleanliness task, revealing a fact about men in particular that may shock and disturb some readers.
Almost half of UK men, 45% to be exact, admitted that they wait up to four months to wash their bed sheets after a previous launder. Another 12% said they do it when they remember, which, let's be honest, could take even longer.
There's one more important detail to note here. These were the results for single men.
Men in relationships reported changing their bed sheets far more frequently. Well, the sheets were being washed, but likely not by them, seeing as women are far more likely to be considered responsible for household chores like laundry, meaning their partner is the reason for the positive change.
Not to mention that same survey saw that 62% of women change their sheets every two weeks, with only 29% of men matching that frequency.
These survey results were originally published by bedding retailer Pizuna in April of 2022, but were republished by the BBC in January of 2023 where they called on men to let go of this unclean habit and start keeping their beds clean.
Shock And Disgust
The article then went viral, sparking a loud social media response.
Most of it was women expressing disgust at the statistic, unable to comprehend why single men don't wash their sheets. As many of them pointed out, perhaps that was one reason why those men remained single.
"Huge red flag," read one response, "I'd rather stay single." Others seemed to agree, believing a lack of care in such a basic hygiene area was not a good sign when it came to general laundry, dishes, or any other area of cleanliness.
The Only Options?
Others focused on the fact that the sheet change rate went up in partnered men.
One person joked, "So you recommend dating men with a partner? To be sure that sheets will be clean?"
"How about home economic classes for men so women don't have to educate them!! Division of labor is still an issue," another user proposed.
It wasn't just women commenting on the findings either. Many men decided to chip in on the commentary and share their own thoughts.
Again, though, they weren't great.
Many were joking about the matter, even bragging that they found ways to go longer without doing something as simple as washing their sheets.
"I get 8 months actually … just flip it over and it's brand new … saves on water and electricity … just doing my bit for the planet," said one reply, with many others echoing the 'just turn it inside out' mentality.
Another admitted that he considers it his wife's problem. "When I was single, once a month. These days my Mrs. does the job."
No Laughing Matter
Their attitudes did not impress the women who already found this behavior disgusting and abhorrent, thus creating even more backlash.
"Notice the men's comments are [deflections], jokes and some other nonsense?! Go Google how to be a grown adult please," encouraged one.
"What's wrong with so many men?" asked another, "Seems like plenty don’t follow basic hygiene from simply washing hands after using the toilet to this."
Being A Better Man
Thankfully, some men were also appalled by the findings, and thankful they weren't part of the shockingly large group that puts off washing their bed sheets for as long as they can stand it.
They expressed their surprise at the statistic; surprise that was swiftly followed by disgust. As one comment read, "Do better guys. This is filthy behavior."
So let's say you're someone who's just now realizing that maybe you ought to be washing your sheets more often. What's the best cycle to shoot for? How often is often enough?
An Expert Opinion
Dr. Lindsay Browning, a chartered psychologist, neuroscientist, and sleep expert, spoke to Radio 1 Newsbeat about this issue, saying that washing your sheets only once every four months is "really not a good plan."
She recommends giving them a wash once every week as they easily get filled with natural human debris.
"Sweat goes into the sheets making them not only smell disgusting but also become quite clogged up," she explains, "If you don't wash your bedsheets enough, your dead skin cells are going to build up in these sheets."
The Time Of Year
"You won't only be sleeping in the yuckiness of the sweat and dead skin cells, but the mites too."
That's right. Unwashed bed sheets can introduce a whole host of grossness into your bedroom. Dr. Browning did say that you can lessen the frequency in the winter, though, as it's colder so we tend to sweat less, but we still shouldn't exceed two weeks without a wash.
Though we don't sweat as much in the winter, we're "still going to bed with slightly dirty hands, the same breath coming out of your mouth." This means staying on top of bed sheet laundry remains important year-round.
The cleanliness of one's space doesn't only contribute to physical health, but mental health as well. When our beds are dirty or our sheets feel gross, we might find ourselves unable to relax. We might put off going to bed, which would lead to sleep deprivation, which in itself could create a whole host of problems.
You owe it to yourself to keep your home somewhere you feel comfortable in. If there's something you struggle with that makes cleaning your sheets an impossible task, you're also allowed to treat yourself to some new ones.
Whatever it takes for you to feel safe, secure, and at peace. You deserve that feeling.
Becoming the best version of yourself and mastering your destiny can be a daunting task (as daunting as it feels for single men to wash their sheets) but not if you know how to bring pure abundance into your life.