With the new year upon us the opportunity to revamp your bedroom into the safe and comfortable space you would like it to be is here. So what can you do and how can we go about improving the space we seem to spend the most time in relaxing.
If we can agree. we would say that our own bedroom is our “safe haven” so to speak. It’s the place where we can hide away from the world outside and relax into some well earned “time out.” We chill out, let all of our stress and struggles go out of the window while relaxing in the comfort of our space with or without our spouse next to your side.
While most people relax into the environment as detailed above there are some other factors that really need taking into consideration in order to enhance the experience of your favourite space. Every little helps is the phrase and in this special space this is really where it matters.
Sleep enhancement on an electronic level (to begin with) is a vital factor to allowing the quiet of our own minds to take hold. If we take a deep breath and try to recharge our batteries. the bedroom is the only sauce we can retreat to as we spend so much of our down time there.
It is the place and the space where we all can re-charge our everyday batteries to help us get on with the daily grind is the place we retreat to recover. The problem is that most of our little safe havens need a good detox.
The reality is however, the bedroom has the most potential to house a slew of health-damaging toxins, including chemicals from our bedding, paint, electromagnetic fields, toxic chemicals we wash our sheets in as well as deodorizers in the washing powder we breath in. All told we need to take a look into this aspect in order to be both aware of it and change the outcome so that it does not affect us in a negative way.
Looking at some of the toxins and their effects
Just making real look into the pollutants we are affected by and at the same time focusing on the bedroom let's see what dangers are there as well as what we can do you avoid them in the future. Just as a basic intro let’s look at some of the danger in the home in general as for the most part part people do not consider to be important but nonetheless they are and affect us all in ways we (for the most part do not even consider.)
Most toxins are not visible but we need to be mindful of what they are and how we are exposed to them. There are pollutants from the air as well which may be an underlying cause of a host of common symptoms such as nagging fatigue, skin irritations and rashes, respiratory conditions and even insomnia. The goal, at the end of the day then, is to clean up the bedroom so that your body has the chance it needs to detoxify and regenerate while sleeping, leaving you fresh and vibrant, just as nature intended
Take a few tips from us, and finally experience what it means to have truly restful sleep.
We spend, on average, between five to nine hours in our bed sheets, exposing us to many chemicals. Non-organic cotton has been sprayed with large amounts of chemical fertilizers and pesticides that are not only damaging to the environment, but to your health as well. Non-organic sheets are often treated with formaldehyde to make them wrinkle-free. Formaldehyde is a cancer-causing chemical, which can result in respiratory symptoms, and eye, nose, and throat irritation. Polyester, another common fabric used in sheets, is synthetic. Synthetic fibers do not breath the way natural fibers like cotton do. As a result, they can interfere with the thermoregulation of the body, preventing a good night’s sleep. Furthermore, regular polyester is made from petroleum, which can also off-gas chemicals.
Detox it: Toss the old ones out and invest in a pair of 100% organic natural cotton sheets, no fabric blends. We have recently come across the most decadent Sonoma organic cotton sheets by Brentwood Home. Upon sleeping in them, we are convinced they are the ticket to heaven. Whether it is the lack of chemicals, or the sheer silkiness of the fabric, we have never had a better night’s sleep. If you are not into cotton, organic silk or bamboo are other safe options.
Unfortunately there are quite a few bad guys hanging out in the mattress. Conventional mattresses are typically made with synthetic materials. These materials contain toxins such as polyurethane, PBDEs, formaldehyde and boric acid. Many of these chemicals are used as flame retardants, and pose a significant health risk. Studies have linked flame retardants, such as PBDEs, to thyroid disruption, memory and learning problems, delayed mental and physical development, lower IQ, advanced puberty, reduced fertility and even cancer. These chemicals are so invasive that they are even showing up in human breast milk, so make the extra effort to avoid them.
Detox it: Switch your mattress out for an organic cotton, wool, or natural latex one. If you cannot afford to make the switch just yet, cover your existing mattress with a cotton barrier encasing. Organic cotton covers will reduce your exposure to any toxic emissions from the mattress while also protecting against allergens such as dust mites.
Indoor air is a hidden source of pollution that the majority of us don’t even think about. Studies have shown that the air inside of our homes, especially our bedrooms, contain a multitude of toxins including VOCs (volatile organic compounds). These toxins come from our carpets, walls, furniture, synthetic candles, pet dander, cleaning supplies and from outdoors. They are a common source of respiratory diseases, including asthma, allergies and even lung cancer, and can be an underlying cause of more serious health conditions as well.
Detox it: The easiest way to clean the indoor air is with an air purifier. We believe that this is as essential as a water purifier, or purchasing organic food. While the ultimate goal would be to minimize the sources of these toxins as much as possible, many of these toxins are unavoidable. The best air filter we have come across is the Healthmate Air Purifier by Austin Air. Now this is most certainly a serious investment, but when it comes to the air that we breathe, we think it is worth the cost. The good thing is that it is a one-time purchase, and it has been proven to remove all dust, allergens, chemicals (VOCs), gases, viruses and bacteria. Another easy way to improve the air quality is to use only natural candles made from vegetable, soybean or beeswax, with 100% essential-oil fragrances, and to eliminate any household air fresheners.
One shocking source of toxins in the bedroom is the paint on the walls. Synthetic paint contains VOCs, which include a number of toxins, toxins such as trichlorethylene, xylenes, styrene, and methylene chloride. The health effects of these chemicals are varied, but link to conditions such as childhood leukemia, birth defects, hormone imbalance, cancer and even may lead to neurological and developmental problems and retarded growth in babies.
Detox it: Go for 100% organic and biodegradable paint. While low-VOC paint is more popular, that doesn’t mean it is VOC free. A few companies to check out are Green Planet Paints, Milk Paint, American Clay and Yolo Colorhouse. If you can’t repaint just yet, remember that the air filter will help to clear the VOCs.
Did you know that everything from your television and computer, to your cell phone and iPad, emit both low level radiation and light that could be disrupting your sleep? According to the Sleep Foundation, “Scientists are now finding that light from electronics has the potential to disrupt sleep, because it sends alerting signals to the brain. The light, which is given off by electronics like computers and cell phones, and also by energy-efficient bulbs, has been shown to delay the release of melatonin.” Melatonin is the hormone that tells your body it is time to sleep, and when interrupted, leads to insomnia or a restlessness. In addition, the World Health Organization (WHO) has classified cell phone radiation as a possible carcinogen, increasing the risk of glioma, a malignant type of brain cancer, as well as developmental problems in kids such as ringing in the ears, bone loss and concentration problems.
Detox it: Turn off all electronics while in the bedroom, or even better yet, don’t bring them into the bedroom in the first place. This will not only improve your sleep, and reduce your risk of possible health effects, but it may even spice up your sex life! Research suggests that cell phone radiation may reduce sperm count, while the use of electronics in the bedroom negatively impacts sexual intimacy. So text and phone later, save your T.V. time for earlier in the evening, and keep your bedroom the sanctuary it was meant to be.