I LOVE the book by Cheryl Mendelson called "Home Comforts: The Art & Science of Keeping House". It is chock full of incredible information and very well organized.
While reading, I got to the chapter about caring for your bedroom. On page 660, Ms. Mendelson advises us to air out our bed and bedroom at least an hour every day.
"Each day when you arise, air the bed. Open the windows, if possible; throw the bedcovers back over the foot of the bed. (If the bedding will otherwise drag on the floor, stand a chair at the foot of the bed to support it.) Let the bed stand this way, unmade, while you shower and eat breakfast. The bed should air for at least an hour if you are going to work, or even longer if you are staying home. This helps immensely toward keeping the bed feeling and smelling fresh until you next change the sheets."
WHY exactly should we bother to do this???
"While you are sleeping, you breathe about two pounds of moisture, along with breath odors and flocks of microorganisms, into the air, your pillow and your bedding. You also perspire, perhaps a cup's worth, and exude skin oils and body smells. And you use up the room's oxygen and replace it with exhaled carbon dioxide. When there are two or more people in the bed or the room, these effects are multiplied. All this explains why, if you sleep with closed windows, the room has a characteristic stale morning smell (although you might not perceive it until you leave for a few minutes and then return.) Unless you leave the bedcovers pulled down and the windows open for an hour or two, the moisture you have left in the bed either does not evaporate or evaporates very slowly, which makes for an environment in pillows and mattress in which dust mites, molds, and other microbial life have more of an opportunity to multiply. Opening the windows lets in new air to dilute the pollutants (microbial and particulate), carry them off, and bring in fresh supplies of oxygen."
Good gracious alive!!! (That's what I said when I first read this!!) Just thinking about all the ickiness that she describes is so, ugh, disgusting!!! Needless to say, after reading this, I started letting our bed air out daily. I do not always open our windows each morning, but I do when it's not incredibly hot, freezing or raining. I want our bedrooms as fresh as possible. And thanks to Cheryl Mendelson, I can achieve that more easily now.
(photo taken from Fredericksburg Texas Bed and Breakfast Lodging)