It could be termed ‘The Rise of the Bedroom of the Apes’.

Researchers from North Carolina State University have found that the beds of chimpanzees are cleaner than those of humans, reports The Telegraph.


The study was born out of a curiosity over the cleanliness of human beds compared to our closest genetic relatives.

“We know that human homes are effectively their own ecosystems, and human beds often contain a subset of the taxa – or types – of organisms found in the home,” said Megan Thoemmes, who led the research in Tanzania.


“For example, about 35 per cent of bacteria in human beds stem from our own bodies, including fecal, oral and skin bacteria.

“We wanted to know how this compares with some of our closest evolutionary relatives, the chimpanzees, which make their own beds daily.”

“We found almost none of those microbes in the chimpanzee nests, which was a little surprising.”

Chimpanzee Nest – Wikipedia

Before bedding down for the night, the nomadic chimpanzees essentially build their beds from branches and leaves. Some scientists believe that the change in sleeping locations is a key factor in limiting the buildup of parasites because the pests are not provided the time to build up a nest.

Humans, for the most part, are territorial in terms of bedding. We return night after night to the same area. Most health officials recommend changing bed sheets once a week but that may not be enough according to the researchers.

The Telegraph writes that “human beds are teeming with faecal, oral or skin bacteria”

Thoemmes remarks, “This work really highlights the role that man-made structures play in shaping the ecosystems of our immediate environment.

“In some ways, our attempts to create a clean environment for ourselves may actually make our surroundings less ideal.”

The study has been published in the journal ‘Royal Society Open Science’ and is the first to look at the composition of “species found in contemporary human homes to that of other structures built by mammals, including those of non-human primates.”

Having read this article, I wish you good luck sleeping soundly tonight.


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