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Photo: Stocksy/Maja Topcagic

When it comes to allergies, you’re unfortunately at the mercy of your environment and genetics. But through a number of dietary and lifestyle choices, it’s possible to reduce your symptoms—or simply make them worse. One of the most surprising ways to aggravate your allergies? Through your sleep setup. Luckily, there’s one bed accoutrement that’ll help you out.

Try not to squeal, but according to Self, your bed (and home) are basically teeming with dust mites, AKA microscopic creepy-crawlies that are typically found in warm, humid environments and feed off the dead skin you shed in your sleep (gross!). That’s icky enough, but it’s not the worst part: Some people are allergic to dust mites, which might explain why you wake up coughing and sneezing in the morning, Mayo Clinic reports. Other symptoms mimic those of asthma, like wheezing and difficulty breathing.

You can mitigate your suffering by outfitting your mattress and pillows in protective allergy-proof covers, thereby creating a much-needed barrier between you and those bugs when you’re in bed.

The bad news is that you can’t completely eradicate dust mites from your home, although washing your sheets at least once a week in hot water—especially in the summer—will certainly help your situation. But you can mitigate your suffering by outfitting your mattress and pillows in protective allergy-proof covers, thereby creating a much-needed barrier between you and those bugs when you’re in bed.

Additionally, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI), installing a dehumidifier or air conditioner can help to keep the air in your bedroom cool and dry—the opposite of the conditions in which dust mites tend to multiply.

Hey, chalk it up the gross news to an excuse for maximizing your Amazon Prime account, and order a mattress cover (like this one) stat.

This is what you need to know about washing your sheets if your dog sleeps in your bed and the easy DIY mixture that will breathe new life into your bedding.

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