I've been sleeping alone for some time now. Or so I thought.
It turns out that I'm probably sharing my bed with millions of dust mites and fungi spores. Sweet dreams.
The Ecosystem That's Thriving in Your Pillows
Experts have discovered that we are also sleeping with microscopic fungi under our noses.
The fungi, which feed on human skin and dust mite droppings, are infesting our pillows, research published yesterday reveals.
Scientists analysed ten pillows and discovered each contained more than a million spores of at least 16 different types of fungi.
The discovery could be highly significant for asthma, Aids, cancer-and transplant patients, who can contract potentially fatal lung infections from the spores the tiny reproductive bodies produced by the fungi.
Ashley Woodcock, professor of respiratory medicine at the North West Lung Centre, in Manchester, who led the research, said: 'We know pillows are inhabited by the house dust mite which eats fungi, and one theory is that the fungi are using the mites' faeces, as well as human skin scales, as a major source of nitrogen and nutrition.
'There could therefore be a miniature ecosystem at work inside our pillows.'