(Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Chimpanzees Keep Cleaner Beds Than Humans

Even though we may wash our sheets all the time, even chimpanzees maintain cleaner beds than humans.

Whelp, I’m doing laundry when I get home today. Our own beds are probably more dirty than the beds that chimps make. I don’t mean dirt, we’re talkin’ bacteria here. Our beds may be “clean” when we look at them, but since we reuse them every day, they’re actually much dirtier. Let me explain below.

A chimpanzee will make a new bed every day before going to sleep. That means collecting new sticks, finding new leaves, and finding a new place overall to make one. They don’t just sleep on the ground here, they’re actually making their own beds. Anyway, since they use new leaves, their beds stay more clean. We use the same sheets over and over, therefor our bacteria stays around. Even if we’re showering before getting into bed, we still produce a lot of things that stick around. Skin cells, hair, bacteria, and other “particles” (I’ll let your imagination go with that one). And bacteria will reproduce, so the more that’s left behind, the faster it will reproduce. Another thing that’s interesting, the level of insects found in chimpanzee nests was almost nonexistent.

See also: Public restroom hand dryers spread all sorts of bacteria around.

According to the research, we as people “have created sleeping places in which our exposure to soil and other environmental microbes has all but disappeared, and we are instead surrounded by less diverse microbes that are primarily sourced from our own bodies.” That basically means that yes, our beds are clean and free of environmental contaminants. However, they are “contaminated” with our own bacteria, which can actually make our allergies worse, or give us other health issues. Ironically, in the quest to have a “clean” bed, we’re making them dirtier. There’s a lot more info, which you can read here. They don’t say how often we should be changing our sheets, but I’m pretty sure once a week is just fine.

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