Mold is known to cause allergic reactions, but it can have more serious effects on your health. Once such effect is diminished sleep quality.
When we don’t get enough sleep, it can affect our productivity and even our safety throughout the day, but lack of sleep has many more negative effects on your overall health.
Ongoing research proves that there is a direct connection between mold exposure and sleep quality. This is yet another reason to have your home tested for mold regularly.
Let’s look more closely at how mold can affect your health, and, more specifically, your sleep.
What is Mold?
Mold is a fungus that lives indefinitely until it finds proper growing conditions. Mold spores can remain dormant for years until it finds the perfect combination of moisture and food, along with a warm, dark environment.
Once these key factors are present, a single mold spore can become a visible mold colony within days. And it isn’t very hard for mold to find what it needs to survive. Spills, leaks, or humidity provides mold with the moisture it requires, and mold feeds on organic matter, which our homes are full of.
As a mold colony develops, the mold creates even more spores and releases them into the air within your home. Because modern homes are so efficient and airtight, excess mold cannot escape, so before you know it, your home can have a serious mold problem.
Mold is usually found in humid areas like the bathroom, basement, or kitchen. When mold develops in a living room or bedroom, it’s usually a sign of excess humidity or a plumbing issue.
Mold Affects Your Health
Mold spores are constantly being released from a growing colony. These spores have the potential to cause allergic reactions when we breathe them in. While most mold varieties are not toxic, all of them have the potential to cause allergic reactions.
A reaction to mold can happen even if you don’t have a diagnosed mold allergy. The symptoms of mold exposure can include any of the following:
- Itchy eyes
- Skin rashes
These symptoms are pretty typical of an allergic reaction. In addition to these common allergy symptoms, mold can also cause headaches, shortness of breath, fever, and respiratory infections.
Exposure to mold is especially dangerous for people with asthma and other pre-existing breathing conditions, as well as those with weakened immune systems. These individuals can end up with severe health complications due to mold in the home.
Furthermore, studies show that children who are exposed to mold before their first birthday have a higher chance of developing asthma later in life.
As you can imagine, the effects of mold are magnified when it is growing in the bedroom, where we spend significant amounts of time.
Mold Affects Your Sleep
Mold in a home, especially in your bedroom, can greatly impact your sleep quality. Studies show that household mold is responsible for all of the following sleep-related conditions.
- Daytime sleepiness
- Frequent sleep disturbances
- Restless sleep
- Obstructive sleep apnea
At least one study has linked household mold with higher frequency of sleep issues. Sleep problems can lead to more serious health conditions, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke. Lack of sleep is also connected to low immunity, depression, and obesity.
Some experts claim that exposure to mold is more dangerous than exposure to asbestos or lead paint.
If you have experienced any of the symptoms above with no other explanation, it’s a good idea to have your home tested for mold. You may be surprised to find that your home has a mold problem. It’s estimated that over half of all U.S. homes have mold growth. Yours could easily be one of them.
Causes of Mold in the Bedroom
Mold spores are found everywhere, indoors as well as outside. The reason it grows in a particular area boils down to one thing: moisture. Where there is excess moisture, there will be a high likelihood of mold growth as well.
So what are the water sources in a bedroom? There probably isn’t a faucet or any standing water in your bedroom. Instead, it’s going to come from one of these issues:
- Leaks or spills
Even if you can’t see the source of the water, mold can find it. Along with a food source (any organic material), mold has everything it needs to grow. Areas like the closet, where there is poor air circulation and plenty of organic material, are prime conditions for mold. Mold can also grow in the carpet, mattress, and upholstery.
Spotting the signs of mold is the crucial first step in removing it. If you see any of the following signs, you may have mold in your bedroom:
- Humidity or dampness in the closet
- Condensation on the windows
- Water damage, such as a large dark spot or cracking paint
- The main sign of mold: a musty odor
The presence of any of these things does not indicate that your bedroom is dirty. Even a clean room can develop mold .
Preventing Mold in the Bedroom
Mold spores are not preventable. They are too small to fully filter out of your home. Therefore, the best prevention method is to remove favorable conditions for mold growth.
- Lower humidity with a dehumidifier or air conditioner
- Improve ventilation
- Repair leaks and water damage immediately
- Declutter clothing and other items so there is space between them
- Arrange furniture so that it is a few inches away from the wall
Removing mold in the bedroom is crucial to your health and your sleep. If you find mold in the bedroom, either throw the mold- covered items away or clean them using industry-approved techniques.
Another option is to have the mold removed by a professional. It’s recommended that any mold colony that covers 10 square feet or more be treated professionally, but you can defer to Pure Maintenance of St. Louis for any amount of mold in your home.