Up to 40% of the world's population has been diagnosed with an allergic disease. The most prevalent allergy is to house dust mites (http://buff.ly/1jSF5Y6). The average bed could be home to up to 1.5 million house dust mites.
The bugs, which are less than a millimetre long, feed on scales of human skin and produce allergens which are easily inhaled during sleep.
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.
Responses from Twitter:
@DoctorMac: Dust mites don't survive unmade beds. Good luck with your allergic kids now. They have science on their side.
@doc_rob: So there! Ya Ya Ya - I was right an Mom was wrong!
@candydye: Moms - Don't tell your kids! RT @Allergy: Untidy beds may "kill" dust mites - goo.gl/qsDW
Dust mite allergen avoidance. The main allergen is in the dust mite feces. Use 3 control measures for 3-6 months to see an effect on the allergy symptoms (click to enlarge the image).
Where are highest concentrations of dust mites found in home? Pillows, stuffed animals, mattress, bedding? http://goo.gl/l6KtR -- A: Mattress.
BBC NEWS | Health | Untidy beds may keep us healthy
Indoor Allergen Avoidance
Dust mites: Lifestyle and home remedies - Excellent summary by Mayo Clinic.
Dust Mite Respiratory Allergy: current therapies http://buff.ly/1UwMMUJ - ALK PR company helped write the paper with 3 writers, open access.
Rhinitis and sleep - congestion decreases quality of life and productivity, increases daytime sleepiness http://goo.gl/Fym3B
House dust mite sensitization in toddlers predicts wheeze at age 12 years (JACI, 2011).
Millions suffer 'home fever' as allergy epidemic begins to bite - dust mites account for 58% of household allergies. The Independent, 2011.