While in the midst of my Friday, girly-girl routine at the hair salon, awaiting my turn in the stylist’s chair and thinking about my next article or conversation with you, I boldly broke out with a question to the ladies in the salon. I interrupted the girls from their intense concentration: Sitting under the dryers, heads leaned back in the shampoo bowl, comfortably relaxing in the styling chairs; their book reading, cell phones, smartphone games, assorted Apps, IPads, and every other techno-savvy device, and posed the question “When you were girls, how often did you change your bedsheets?” Once they got over the shock of my audacity, they thought and jovially and curiously answered. The answers were similar and ranged from once or twice a week to no less than once a month. When I asked, “Why it was important to change their sheets?” they looked puzzled; yet one brave soul said, “Because grand-momma said so”. When questioning the only male patron in the salon, he stared at me with wide eyes, like a deer caught in the headlights of an oncoming truck and responded, “I’m supposed to change my sheets?”
Not unlike the gentleman in the salon, my seventeen year old son who takes a minimum of three showers per day (because of whom, if I had stock in my city’s water department, I would be a rich woman,) cannot retire to bed unless he takes a twenty-minute rinse, is convinced that changing his sheets is a major event, a seasonal activity at best. While you might think guys are the dirty culprits, I can assure you that there are many women who find changing sheets an unnecessary chore.
Okay, so my point is, you should change your sheets at least one time per week. These are just a few reasons why:
My son Noah, for example, is a very clean young man, yet his room and bathroom would tell a very different story. I digress… back to the sheets issue. No matter how clean you are, your life is reflected in and on your bedsheets and unfortunately, no matter how clean you keep your home, you probably share your sheets with small, interesting bed companions. When you sleep you shed dead skin cells, and dust mites (I thought were fairy-tale bugs) thrive in your sheets and find dead skin cells a very appetizing meal. Additionally the bed-bug epidemic has had a resurgence in the last few years and unfortunately, people who don’t change their sheets can overlook signs of bedbugs. Both these nocturnal creatures actually munch on us while we sleep. And, there are other bugs that are simply unable to resist following the trail of crumbs generated by our bed-time snack rituals of cookies, cake, popcorn and other yummy treats that we eat while reading or watching TV in bed. Now it might be unpleasant to think about when crawling or collapsing into bed after a long day, but these critters are real and they are becoming fat and content in the homes where people don’t change their sheets.
For those of you who still seem to be averse to changing your sheets regularly, you may find that after a while they smell. When you lie on your sheets and get up after a night’s rest – it’s almost like leaving your entire shadow or a silhouette of your body on your bed, similar to a crime scene in your favorite forensic show. For some of you, not changing your sheets is a crime scene. When you go to bed, especially if you are not one who showers before retiring, the grime, dirt, lotions, chemicals, and sweat and let’s not forget, body fluids get into your sheets and can produce an odor. Don’t deodorize the air in the room – change those stinky sheets!
Sickness, like the Flu virus, is becoming like a villain in an epic super-hero movie. Unsuspecting, innocent citizens are taken by surprise and feel powerless to fight back. Well, the Flu is a formidable opponent, but it is no match for two inexpensive methods used to fight back: Wash your hands continuously and change and wash your sheets and bedding frequently.
Now that we have discussed the icky pests that feed off of what we leave in our beds, including us, let’s look at changing our sheets from a totally different perspective. Juanita Bynum, author, singer, and minister years ago introduced her book entitled “No More Sheets”. Our description of changing sheets was not exactly what she talked about, however, she did discuss the pain and regret she left hiding ( like our dust mites and parasites) in her sheets. We don’t know what’s really lurking under our covers and in the corners of the walls in our bedroom. Past issues and relationships parallel these blood-sucking, skin cell eating, nocturnal creatures and we wash our sheets, but the stains of pain and memories like the parasites discussed earlier still eat away at us.
With all that you have learned about what could be hiding in between your covers – why would you not change your sheets? The same reason it is difficult for us to change our lives – Changing anything is time-consuming and because what we can’t see, can’t hurt us; or so we believe. We can’t always see the dust mites or bedbugs or the effects of our emotional pests, and we don’t understand that like our tiny bed companions our issues are secretly and quietly munching away at our lives.
Whether your issue is an unhealthy relationship, a habit that you are unable to break, making life honoring choices or simply becoming a better you – get those negative things or the pests, out of your place of rest – change your sheets, change your life.
“I don’t have all the answers, but I know the One who does…”
Beginning January, 2014