Health Risks of Mould in the Home: Sleep Loss
Do you suffer from sleep loss?
Did you know that one way to identify a mould problem in your home is by watching your water bill? Leaks and damp surfaces are primed for mould growth, especially in areas that are prone to collection surfaces and warmth—think your bathrooms, kitchen and basement.
In addition to leaky pipes, many people don’t realize that mould can form in other disguised areas of your home such as on your mattress. Whether you sleep in a damp room, spill a glass of water that is absorbed into your mattress, or sweat a lot at night, your mattress may be primed for mould growth. Mattresses can include soft, porous materials such as cotton covers or foam comfort layers, any of which can absorb moisture both inside and outside of your mattress.
So, while you may know to check your pipes or understand that your basement, kitchen, and bathrooms are often culprits of leaks and potential areas of mould growth, keep in mind that places such as your bedroom may hide a serious mould problem.
Here are five ways indoor mould causes sleep loss
Mould impacts the air quality in your house by releasing glucans which can cause an inflammatory response to your respiratory system. In turn, it affects your ability to breathe effectively by prompting your body to go into a fix-it mode such as an increase in mucus production which builds up and makes it difficult to breathe.
It is estimated that nearly a billion people worldwide are affected by sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a dangerous and potentially deadly problem wherein a person momentarily stops breathing. The result is gasping or snoring as the person’s brain tries to readjust breathing. Sleep apnea and sleep loss are caused by the blockage or narrowing of the airways that is often the result of congestion associated with mould.
There are many reasons that lead to snoring and guess what? Mould is one of them. Snoring is the result of a problem with breathing. The problem can be a result of congestion, obstruction or irritation. Not only can snoring disrupt your sleep causing sleep loss but can be an indication of a much bigger problem.
Insomnia due to mould growth can carry similar symptoms to a cold or allergies (also caused by mould). When your body is impacted by watery eyes, a runny nose, sneezing, coughing and congestion it is likely that you will have trouble falling asleep.
A reaction to mould while you are sleeping—or trying to sleep—can cause several sleep-deprived consequences which ultimately lead to daytime fatigue. Many people who suffer from sleep loss and insomnia also suffer from daytime fatigue which is easily identified by being tired throughout the day and lacking energy and motivation. You may also feel moody, anxious and short-tempered.
Mould in your home can have severe consequences that affect your comfort level, cause sleep loss and can have serious consequences, but you do have the ability to control it. Per advice from the CDC you can prevent mould in your home by doing the following:
- Control humidity levels;
- Promptly fixing leaky roofs, windows and pipes;
- Thoroughly cleaning and drying after flooding;
- Ventilating shower, laundry and cooking areas.
Article by Lisa Smalls, a freelance writer from North Carolina, USA.
Lisa has suffered from insomnia most of her life and, as a result, is fascinated by how our environment affects our sleep. She has kindly contributed this article to make us aware of the many reasons why we may be suffering from the lack of sleep.
Lisa will be contributing more articles on sleep loss, so watch this space!
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