People are gross. There, I said it. It's not just men, or women, or babies, or teenagers who have some sort of monopoly on grossness. It's everyone. You know what else is gross? Your kitchen, your bathroom, and, probably, your bed. Even if you wash your sheets regularly, change your pillowcases, and always go to bed squeaky-clean, beds can get a little scuzzy pretty quickly. If you share your bed — with a partner, kids, or both — that grossness can be magnified. There's no doubt about it, there are some gross things women deal with when sharing a bed with a man because, honestly, a lot of guys are fairly open when it comes to the gross things they do. Even if you're not sharing a bed permanently (like if you're sleeping in the same bed platonically while on a trip), the bed, and therefore your sleeping arrangement, can get a little disgusting.
Perhaps that's why more couples are opting to sleep in separate beds. (Though, more likely, it's to avoid their partner's snoring.) According to a 2010 survey by the National Sleep Foundation, about 22 percent of American adults sleep separately from their partner. That being said, obviously, many couples still choose to sleep side by side most nights. Whether they choose to do so because they think it's more intimate, because they sleep better that way, or for some other reason, if you're snoozing next to a man each night, buckle up, because things just might get gross.
If you're sleeping next to a sick man all night, chances are he's sharing those lovely germs with you. Dr. Julie Yeh, an assistant professor of family, community, and preventive medicine at Drexel University College of Medicine, told Everyday Health that changing the sheets, airing out the room during the day, putting a trash can next to the bed (for tissues), and setting up a humidifier are ways to help keep you healthy when your partner's sick. Regardless, laying next to someone who's snotty and coughing up phlegm all night is disgusting.
Yes, it's a fact of life and yes, women fart too, but some men seem to take pride in their grossest farting habits. I'd venture to say that the majority of women don't particularly love when you fart on them, gentlemen.
According to the Mayo Clinic, sweating at night can be caused by a medical condition or by simply sleeping in a warm room or under too many blankets. Although it's entirely possible that you or the man you share your bed with has a condition that causes night sweats, it's often the fault of two warm bodies and a whole lot of blankets. Lowering the temperature of your room might help, or sleeping with fewer coverings. Additionally, if you usually get warmer, sleep in lighter fabrics or fewer layers and let him hog the covers.
4. Morning Breath
I don't think anyone wakes up with their breath smelling minty fresh, but there's a difference between knowing your own breath isn't so fresh in the morning and rolling over and having to deal with someone else's. Again, it's a part of life, but, according to Medical Daily, people who have a dry mouth are more likely to experience bad breath in the morning, as are those who aren't as good about brushing and flossing their teeth regularly. Saliva helps eliminate the bacteria that causes bad breath, which is why your breath often a little rank after you've slept all night.
5. Sullied Sheets
Jolie Kerr, a cleaning expert and advice columnist, wrote a column for Esquire that said that changing your sheets once a week is the "ideal" length of time. Most people, however, don't change them often enough. That's problematic when you now have more than one person sleeping in the bed. Sex, sweat, and just spending time in bed can all make your sheets dirty, so make sure you change them promptly.
6. Body Odor
People smell after a period of time, there's no way around it. If you go to bed without showering, chances are things might get musty. Even if your guy hasn't done anything out of the ordinary, he's probably at least a little bit stale-smelling in the morning.
7. Crumbs And Spills
If your partner likes to snack in bed, be prepared for crumbs and spills. These things happen accidentally, but are also pretty gross.
Not everyone drools every night, but if your partner is a known drooler, he'll probably drool in your shared bed from time to time. Hopefully it's not something that upsets your sleep, but if it does try sleeping on your own sides of the bed.
According to Healthline, belching can be caused by medical conditions like gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and others including peptic ulcers, lactose intolerance, and celiac disease. Nighttime burps could also be due to the foods he ate that day or him swallowing too much air. Everybody burps, but that doesn't mean it's not gross.
10. Gross Pillows
So it turns out, pillows get super gross. Rob Dunn, an associate professor of biology at North Carolina State University, told Men's Health that fecal matter is found on most pillows, as is fungi. Fungus and (your own) fecal matter is bad enough, but the potential for someone else's fecal matter too? Gross.
I don't know exactly what it is about other people's feet that I don't love, but frankly, I'd prefer that you kept them away from me. It can be difficult to keep your feet to yourself when sharing the same bed. Foot fungus, snarly nails, unwashed feet. . . OK I think I'm starting to see what I don't like about them.
12. Hair And Nails
According to multiple sources on the interwebs, some men like to make a little pile of their nail clippings rather than just throwing them in the garbage. When you're in bed alone, you know that the hair or nail pieces found between the sheets are most likely yours, but once you share a bed? Those little hairs you find in the morning could be his and there's something about that that's a little bit grosser.
13. Skin Cells
When you sleep, you naturally shed skin cells. It's natural but still gross none the less. Glen Needham, a retired professor of entomology at Ohio State University told Slate that dust mites, which can thrive in mattresses, eat up those skin cells. Additionally, your body creates a "humidity zone" that the mites like because it provides moisture and warmth. More skin cells, more humidity, more dust mites. . . more problems.
Men scratch. They itch their crotch, rearrange themselves, and the like. If they're not afraid to adjust themselves in public, chances are sharing a bed with you isn't going to stop them either.
15. Dirty Clothes
According to an article from BuzzFeed, some men re-wear dirty clothes. That in and of itself might not be a big deal. After all, women do that too. But underwear and super sweaty workout gear that you wear in bed? That's gross.
According to The Huffington Post, the most likely bugs to come a-calling if you don't clean up your crumbs after snacking in bed are ants and cockroaches. It should probably go without saying that most gals don't want to bed-share with cockroaches, so try to at least clean up your messes. Beyond ants and cockroaches, other bugs can cause problems. Bedbugs survive from human blood, according to WebMD, which is ever so slightly alarming. They can live in your mattress, box spring, bed frame, or headboard and, unlike the aforementioned ant and cockroach issue, aren't caused by dirt, so while you can't blame your guy's gross habits for their arrival, they're undoubtedly gross.
Stains can happen from food, bodily fluids, beverages, permanent ink, and so many other things. If you're sharing your bed with a man (or with kids), you're sure to find a stain that you may not be able to confidently identify at some point.
18. Bodily Fluids
Bodily fluids make most people a little grossed out, for the most part, especially when they're places you'd rather they weren't. Philip Tierno, a microbiologist and pathologist at New York University School of Medicine told Tech Insider that "sweat, sputum, vaginal and anal excretions, [and] urine milieu" can all be present on bedding, in addition to bacteria, spores, and the like. Again, it's bad enough when they're your own, but when it's someone else's bodily fluids as well? Gross.