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Pillow Week

Published on April 15th 2005.


God give me strength. I’m fed up hearing about national such-and-such day, week or month. Everyone’s bloody got one now. A few weeks ago National Impotence Week was, according to their press release, “accompanied by nationwide events”, (did anyone actually go???) and you will all no doubt be delighted to hear that National Raisin Bread Month is just around the corner. I can hardly contain my excitement. We can only live in hope that there isn’t a mad run on our supermarkets for raisin bread causing a national shortage.

So, when the press release for National Pillow Week (18th – 24th April) landed on my desk, I could have been forgiven for yawning (sorry, couldn’t resist) and filing it in the bin. However, the opening sentence of “Research of 100 students in the Leeds area…” made me stop. Student? Yes. Leeds area? Yes. Oh God, this could be me……

Research of 100 students in the Leeds area showed that they do not change their pillows – no matter how disgusting or dirty they are. (May I just take this opportunity to smugly point out that this does not actually apply to me – my boyfriend’s lovely Great-Aunt Florence bought me a set of new pillows only last month.) But back to the rest of the scummy, unwashed, musty students of Leeds. When asked “When did you last change your pillows?”, all were unable to answer.

Whilst I’m quite sure the majority of us have woken up the morning after the night before to find ourselves sharing a pillow with someone who doesn’t quite resemble the Brad Pitt / Angelina Jolie look-alike we thought we were going to bed with, very few of us are aware that if we haven’t recently changed our pillow we are also sharing it with up to two million dust mites, sweat, mould and mildew. Nice. In fact, 10% of your pillow’s weight is made up of these gruesome items if it hasn’t been changed in the past 18 months. And most people’s pillows certainly haven’t been changed in 18 months. Only ¾ of people claim to trade in their pillow within three years, and 1/5 replace them less often than five years!

The cozy bedtime story continues……….Whilst sleeping, our body’s dead skin becomes the equivalent of a meal at Establishment for dust mites. Like humans they excrete their waste, which we then go on to inhale, making us more susceptible to Asthma, Rhinitis and Sinusitis.

National Pillow Week is the brainchild of the Duvet and Pillow Association, aimed at helping people get a better night’s sleep – simply by getting new pillows and washing all bedding regularly. Most retailers offer pillows that can be washed at 60 degrees, to keep pillows free of uninvited guests. And for that lazy 8% of men who have never ever washed their bedding, they suggest getting a Pillow Protector (try M&S) which acts as an additional barrier against dirt and oil, lessening the need for washing.

Whilst I can be smug at the general cleanliness of my new pillows, thanks to Great-Aunt Flo, if you don’t fancy waiting for National Pillow Week to get organised, Manchester Confidential have teamed up with The Duvet and Pillow Association to give away 5 brand new, complete pillow sets. For your chance to win, simply email the answer to the question below to editor@manchesterconfidential.com:

What nasty bugs love to live in an old, dirty pillow?

Ticks
Fleas
Dust Mites
Gordo

Email your answer to editor@manchesterconfidential.com

Pam Wood

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