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Are You Changing Your Sheets Enough?

By Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizen, MDs

Khloe Kardashian says she changes her bed sheets every two days — making her downright un-American. A survey of 1,000 folks revealed that, on average, people change their sheets every 24 days. Single guys only do it every 37 days, while married couples switch them every 20.

It turns that it's a good idea to be more like Khloe if you want to tamp down allergies or avoid itchy, red skin patches. And if you sleep with your pet — 78% of pet owners do — it's extra important to change your sheets regularly. Around 20 million Americans have a dust mite allergy and can get hit nightly with red, watery eyes; an itchy, runny nose; and sneezing. Even more serious, this "allergy" can make heart disease, cancer, and dementia more likely due to the inflammation it causes.

Dust mites thrive on the millions of skin cells we shed every night. And their droppings can trigger serious respiratory symptoms. Add pet hair and dander, and the problem multiplies. And if your pet happens to have a transmittable infection or infestation, that can become your problem too. In addition, skin-irritating bacteria can grow on sheets if you sweat in your sleep or drool on your pillow.

So change your sheets and pillowcases every week (more often if you drool or sweat a lot). Wash blankets every month or two, mattress pads every three months, and bed skirts twice a year. You'll sleep better and wake up more refreshed.