How your socks can be dirtier than a DOORMAT: Swab analysis reveals the same bacteria found on cockroaches is also lurking on our feet
- Socks that are worn to bed are dirtier than a toilet, a remote and even a doormat
- Experts agree wearing socks to bed can be key to getting a good night’s sleep
- But it’s important to put a fresh pair on rather than wearing them for 24 hours
If you go to bed without taking your socks off at night, a new study may make you reconsider.
Socks that are worn to bed after a full day of use are dirtier than a TV remote and even a doormat, scientists report following lab experiments.
Among the bacteria found on socks was E.coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a pathogen commonly found on cockroaches and in their faecal droppings.
The scientists agree that wearing socks to bed can be the key to getting a good night’s sleep as they help regulate your body temperature.
But they stress that it’s important to put a new pair on right before bed, rather than sleeping in the pair that you’ve worn throughout the day.
A new study conducted by MattressNextDay has revealed that people are wearing socks to bed that are dirtier than a doormat
The new study was led by MattressNextDay and Dr Deborah Lee, a health specialist and medical writer at Dr Fox Online Pharmacy.
Want a better night’s sleep? Wear SOCKS to bed, expert claims – READ MORE
Wearing socks to bed ‘can help you fall asleep faster and experience deeper sleep’
Our feet have around 250,000 sweat glands, so if you wear your socks from waking up to the next day, moisture can build up and the bacteria and other microorganisms start to grow as a result.
‘At night, the bed is warm, and you are sweating, so this is an ideal breeding ground for pathogens, such as pseudomonas, staphylococcus aureus and E.coli,’ said Dr Lee.
‘I would recommend getting into bed in clean pyjamas and a clean pair of bed socks – if you choose to wear socks in bed.’
Before the experiments took place, MattressNextDay conducted polls on Reddit to establish whether wearing socks in bed is even a common practice.
Out of 1,017 people who voted, just 18 per cent said they do sleep in socks – but only 30 per cent of those that do change their socks before getting into bed.
For the experiments, MattressNextDay swabbed eight male and female socks that had been worn from 7am to 11pm.
Each person wore the same socks whilst wearing shoes, exercising and generally going about their everyday routine.
The experts also swabbed a doormat and TV remote for a comparison.
They found four of the socks carried Pseudomonas aeruginosa, the same bacteria that can be found on cockroaches and in their faecal droppings.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa is described as an opportunistic pathogen often found in soil and ground water. Pictured, Pseudomonas aeruginosa colonies on an agar plate
Although Pseudomonas aeruginosa rarely affects healthy individuals, for those with a a weakened immune system it can cause infections that affect the airway and urinary tract.
Bacteria found on socks
The following bacterium were found on socks worn from 7am to 11pm:
– Pseudomonas aeruginosa
– Staphylococcus aureus
– Clostridium perfringens
– Bacillus cereus
– Faecal strepotococci
Pseudomonas aeruginosa was also detected on the doormat, but not the remote.
Socks also had traces of Clostridium perfringens – another pathogenic bacterium and one of most common causes of food poisoning – as well as Bacillus cereus, which causes vomiting and diarrhoea.
There were also Coliforms – bacteria that are present in the digestive tracts of animals and humans – including E. coli, commonly known as faecal bacteria.
There was also Staphylococcus aureus, a common cause of skin infections including abscesses, respiratory infections such as sinusitis, and food poisoning.
The team warn that these harmful species can be transferred to your bedding at night if you don’t put them straight in the laundry basket after a day’s use.
They recommend washing your socks, underwear and bedding at 60 degrees to kill any bacteria and viruses.
But the team stress that we should be wearing socks to bed as it can lead to higher-quality sleep, a better sex life and more benefits.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa, commonly found on cockroaches and in their faecal droppings, was detected on four of the socks and the doormat, but not the remote
‘Wearing socks in bed at night can be beneficial as it can aid sleep,’ said Dr Lee. ‘Your core body temperature drops before you fall asleep.
People with cold hands and feet take longer to fall asleep.
‘By wearing socks, you are warming your feet, causing blood to flow to the skin and blood vessels to dilate to dissipate the heat.
‘This means you are directing heat away from the core to your peripheries.’
The full results of the study were published on the MattressNextDay website.
Time for a deep clean? The inside of your car has more germs than the average TOILET SEAT, study reveals
From muddy boots, sweet wrappers and used wet wipes, dumping your rubbish in your car may seem like a harmless thing to do.
But scientists reveal that the inside of your car is dirtier than the average toilet, and is home to a thriving community of harmful bacteria.
The researchers, from Aston University, took samples from car interiors with ‘varied ownership histories’, to establish bacterial contamination levels.
Overall, the car boot had the most bacteria, followed by the driver’s seat, the gearstick and the back seat.
But all six points swabbed within the cars were shown to harbour more bacteria than dirty toilet seats, they found.
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